The Historial Society of Walton County, and the American Legion Auxiliary is opening a new exhibit at the Monroe Museum tomorrow, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018, featuring one of Walton County’s most famous residents, Moina Belle Michael, known internationally as the Poppy Lady. There will be an opening reception from 1 – 3 p.m. tomorrow at the museum, which is located at 227 S. Broad Street in Monroe.
Born in Good Hope on Aug. 16, 1869, Michael went on to be remembered around the globe for her work raising funds to help disabled World War I veterans. She did that by selling silk poppies inspired by the battlefront-themed poem, “In Flanders Field” by Canadian John McCrae. She penned the poem, “We Shall Keep the Faith,” in response. Her work continued long after her passing in 1944 and continues to this day with the proceeds from the sale of silk poppies benefiting veterans from all wars.
An almost life-size marble statue of the Poppy Lady has been commissioned and will be included in the Walton County Veterans Memorial. According to local historian Gale Huie Smith, it should be ready and installed by the time of the dedication to the Veterans Memorial on Nov. 12, 2018.
More information on Moina Belle Michael and her contributions to veterans worldwide since WW I can be found at this link in the Commemorative Bicentennial issue of Walton Living Magazine.