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Biography MOINA MICHAELS

Moina B. Michaels

We are looking at an FDC Honoring Moina Belle Michaels "The Poppy Lady" it was issued November 9th,1948 and Postmarked from her home town of Athens Georgia. At the outbreak of World War I, she volunteered for war work but her age barred her from serving overseas. Moina instead worked at the training headquarters for overseas YWCA workers located at Columbia University where the poppy venture was born while one day reading the Ladies Home Journal she read the poem "In Flanders Field" by Canadian poet John McCrae which tells of poppies blowing between crosses marking the soldier's graves, Its reading made a lasting impression and inspired her to write her own poem, "We Shall Keep the Faith". Flanders Field is a United States military cemetery near Waregem, Belgium which contains the bodiesMOINA.jpg of 368 Americans who died in World War I.
       She began a campaign to make the poppy a symbol of tribute and support for veterans. Through her efforts, this idea was adopted in the United States and spread to England, France, Australia and more than 50 other countries. Artificial poppies are made by Disabled veterans
and ALL the profits go to their relief, rehabilitation and their needy dependents. By the time of her death in 1944, approximately $200 million had been raised for this cause.
     Moina received the American Legion Auxiliary Distinguished Service Medal. The Georgia Legislature designated her a "Distinguished Citizen"and the American Legion and Auxiliary placed a marble bust of her in the Georgia state capitol. After her death. A Liberty Ship launched during the Second World War carried her name," Moina Michael" and The Georgia General Assembly designated the stretch of U.S. highway 78 
between Athens and Monroe as "The Moina Michael Highway". The US postal system honored her with this stamp issueMOINA.jpg on November 9th, 1948.

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