The poppy has become recognized as the memorial flower in countries throughout the world.  It is distributed by veteran organizations in Europe, North America, and in most of the countries of the British Commonwealth. 
Since 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Was of the United States has conducted an annual distribution of the "Buddy" Poppy to raise funds for its charitable programs on behalf of the needy and disabled veterans, and the surviving family members of deceased veterans. 
Today, the Buddy Poppy is distributed by Posts and Auxiliaries of the VFW in every state of the union and in dozens of other countries.  Some 10 million are distributed annually, most of them during the period preceding Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but many of them at other times of the year. 
More than $12 million is raised each year through the distribution of the Buddy Poppy - all of it strictly accounted for and dedicated entirely to veterans welfare. 

In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break with us who die
We shall now sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

by Col. John McRae