Local historian Gail Huie Smith is helping raise awareness of the Moina Michael Poppy Project with the hopes that in doing so it in turn promotes the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for fallen service members and helps the lives of veterans.
” I am involved with a great organization called the Moina Michael Poppy Project. Founded in 2013 by Emily Crews, the Moina Michael Poppy Project is dedicated to educating people about Ms. Moina and to continue promoting the poppy as a symbol of remembrance for fallen service members,” Smith said in a Facebook post. “We also want to carry on her life’s goal of bettering the lives of veterans.”
Moina Belle Michael is undoubtedly Good Hope, Ga’s most famous resident where she was born in 1869. Inspired by Lt. Col. John McCrae’s 1915 Poem, “In Flander’s Fields,” Michael originated the red corn poppy as a tribute to veterans and fallen soldiers after first using it as a symbol to honor fallen troops in WWI. The tradition, which continues today, became renowned worldwide as a way to honor fallen members of the military and its roots in Walton County remain strong. Funds raised at the Good Hope Poppy Festival go toward the Moina Michael All Terrain Chair Initiative and the Walton County’s Veterans Memorial. A Mural, painted by Layne Johnson and taken from the book “The Poppy Lady” by Barbara Elizabeth Walsh, can be found at the Walton County Government Building in Monroe. It was given to The Historical Society of Walton County by The Atlanta History Center.
The Moina Michael Poppy Project was founded in 2013 by Emily Crews. It was after reading the book, The Miracle Flower, Crews was inspired by what she had read and started reaching out to colleagues. Soon, a small group of like-minded individuals came together and began using their various crafting skills to aid in the mission. Since then, it has grown from crafting poppies to attending festivals, connecting with local historical societies as well as fundraising for The Independence Fund.