|In Flanders Field, the poppies blow...|
The poppy became a symbol of World War I dead and Armistice Day because of In Flanders Fields, the great poem by the Canadian John McCrae who was a battlefield physician in Belgium in 1915.
The day was originally called Armistice Day, because it marked the ending of hostilities in Europe, on November 11, 1918.
Our honoring of Veterans Day in November suffers by comparison with Memorial Day, which has a similar purpose and is more widely observed as a holiday because it starts the U.S. summer season. Memorial Day also dates back further, to 1866 when a memorial was first held in Waterloo, NY to honor dead Union soldiers.