Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 27

RA WALSH
COURTESY BARBA

She shouldn't have even been accepted into
the program; it was her stubborn tenacity
and connections that got her as far into it as
she did," explains Tom Michael, whose greatgrandfather was Moina Michael's brother,
William.
Barred from going overseas because
of her age, Michael's role in the YMCA program was to train the future canteen workers as well as to be a hostess in the Gemot,
the YMCA's social center in New York City,
which was similar to today's USO centers.
She knew what these workers would
face. She had been traveling in Germany
when Countess Sophie and her husband,
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria,
were assassinated by a young radical. The
already-simmering tensions among
European nations erupted, and World
War I began. Thousands of tourists
fled, trying to get ships home. Michael
escaped on the Carpathia, the ship that
two years earlier had rescued survivors
of the Titanic disaster.

Origin of The Poppy Lady
One quiet Saturday in the Gemot, Michael
picked up a copy of Ladies' Home Journal that had
been left on her desk. On a page she later described
in her autobiography as "most strikingly
illustrated in color" was the poem "In
Flanders Fields" by Canadian poet,
physician and soldier Lt. Col. John
McCrae. He wrote the poem
for his fallen comrades;
from the ground
around their makeshift
graves now sprang red
poppies, symbol-

Above: A commemorative stamp honoring
the "founder of memorial poppy" was issued
on Nov. 9, 1948. Right: Pat Antrilli was so
proud of his daughter's book that he would
hand out bookmarks to visitors at his
assisted living facility every day.

COURTESY BARBARA WALSH

COURTESY TOM

MICHAEL

Pat Antrilli, having a
bit of a green thumb
himself, bonded with
Moina Michael, who'd
become known as
The Poppy Lady.

izing the blood they shed. In the voice of those men,
the last verse implores the living to continue to carry
the soldiers' torch forward, to keep the faith with
them or "we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in
Flanders fields."
Michael was touched and wrote her own poem,
titled "We Shall Keep the Faith," in response. It read
in part:
We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies.
Michael vowed "to always wear a red poppy ... as
a sign of remembrance."
At Wanamaker's department store in Manhattan
she found them: red silk poppies. The store clerk was
moved by Michael's story; her own brother recently
had been buried on a battlefield in France. Neither
woman knew that in two days-Nov. 11, 1918-the
armistice would be signed to end World War I. That
year had seen the Carpathia sunk by the Germans
and the poet McCrae dead of pneumonia and buried
in France.
Michael went home to Athens. Serving as a
teacher no longer would be her primary purpose. She
campaigned relentlessly to have the poppy accepted
as a symbol of remembrance. By the early 1920s several new veterans groups-the American Legion, its
Auxiliary and the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)-
had adopted it and urged their members to wear it.
At the State Normal School in Athens, which
later became UGA's College of Education, Michael
served as a professor and taught a summer class for
disabled veterans. She saw firsthand the economic
hardships that the veterans faced.
Again, she campaigned. Soon both the
American Legion Auxiliary and the VFW started
poppy-making programs that, to this day,
benefit veterans physically, emotionally
and economically.
"The soldiers who made the poppies for sale in America were classified as unfit for any employment
by the government because
of their war injuries. So they
couldn't be hired. But they
could make these little poppies," Tom Michael says.

A legacy in bloom
The organizations'
members still make poppies, as
do volunteers such as Marie
Mize of Athens.
"As a kid, I would go
www.georgiamagazine.org

27


http://www.georgiamagazine.org

Georgia Magazine - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - May 2020

Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 4
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 5
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 6
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 7
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 8
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 9
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 10
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 11
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 12
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 13
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 14
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 15
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 16
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 17
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 18
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 19
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 20
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 21
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 22
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 23
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 24
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 25
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 26
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 27
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 28
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 29
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 30
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 31
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 32
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 33
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 34
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 35
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 36
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 37
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 38
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 39
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 40
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 41
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 42
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 43
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 44
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 45
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - 46
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - May 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201907
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201811
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201807
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201711
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201606
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201511
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201507
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201505
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/libertynotes_billofrights
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201411
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201407
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201406
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201311
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201310
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201307
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201306
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201305
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201211
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201210
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201209
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201208
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201207
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201206
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201205
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_realitycheck
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201111
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201110
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201109
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201108
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201107
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201106
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201105
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201007
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201006
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_201001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_200912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_200911
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/gemc/georgia_200910
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com