Paying memory: Poppies appear on sale across country to mark Veterans Day

People can buy over 140,000 poppies from public places or street sellers, and can also donate online to pay tribute to soldiers killed in World War I. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 05.11.2023 12:10:00 (updated on 05.11.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

With Veterans Day – a global commemoration that honors soldiers killed in World War I – less than one week away, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Czechia are holding fundraisers to help raise money for institutions that help preserve war veterans’ stories.

Post Bellum is one of the main NGOs behind the drive, hoping to raise millions of crowns via the sale of plastic, pinnable poppies (a symbol of World War 1) to the public before Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

Wearing a poppy to show respect

In cooperation with the City of Prague, they are available in hundreds of places throughout the capital (and country), including cafes, shops, galleries, libraries, and information centers. People typically pin them on the front of their coats or jackets as a way of paying tribute.

You can find a full map of places that sell the poppy nationwide here. Over 140,000 poppies are available at over 1,400 locations.

From Nov. 7 to 11, volunteers on the streets of Prague and other major cities will be giving out the poppies. Taking them is free, but Post Bellum says that a donation is very welcome.

People can also buy poppies online, with Post Bellum saying: “We will turn your virtual poppy into a real one and plant it in a symbolic flower bed in Prague, Brno, Ostrava and other regional cities.” Last year, donations totaled around CZK 3 million – Post Bellum hopes to raise up to CZK 4 million this year.

Ensuring memories are never forgotten

Proceeds from the collection will also go towards Post Bellum’s Memory of Nations project, which is the largest publicly accessible database of witness stories from wartime Europe.

“By purchasing a poppy, you will be contributing to direct assistance to veterans and other freedom fighters through the National Remembrance Assistance Center. The proceeds of the collection also go to ensure that their stories are not forgotten," says the organization.

Around 1.4 million Czech or Bohemian soldiers fought and 150,000 died in World War I. An estimated total of 20 million people lost their lives as a result of it.

On Nov. 11, Post Bellum will also co-organize a Concert for Heroes will be held in St. Vitus Cathedral, featuring political and cultural figures alongside family members of war veterans.

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