Unlike the whimsical flowers, Forget Me Not Day, on November 10 is a day to ensure that we really won’t forget. The holiday pays tribute to returning soldiers who have lost blood and limbs — things that truly can’t be forgotten — in the line of battle. Forget Me Not Day has been around since World War I, although it’s often lost in the hustle and bustle of preparing for Thanksgiving.
History of Forget Me Not Day
Forget-me-nots are the tiny blue meadow flowers that are incredibly symbolic. From the loss of loved ones to simply missing a childhood friend, the flowers have become synonymous with feelings of missing and longing. In New Zealand, Forget Me Not Day is dedicated to those afflicted with, or who have lost loved ones due to the cognitive degenerative Alzheimer’s disease. And while there are some versions of Forget Me Not Day that celebrate this sort of loss or reconnecting with long-lost loved ones, this Forget Me Not day, we focus on something different, but also important.
Forget Me Not Day as we know it was established following World War I, when Judge Robert S. Marx, himself a WWI veteran, declared the holiday in honor of veterans who had suffered physical losses in the line of battle — those who had lost limbs, blood, and other integral body parts. Along with the holiday, Marx inaugurated the tradition of selling the popular forget-me-not flowers, repurposing them to raise money for wounded veterans.
Whatever reason you choose to recognize Forget Me Not Day, don’t forget the pretty blue flowers! Your contributions in buying those will surely go to one of a laundry list of good causes that receive support from flower sales each year.
Forget Me Not Day timeline
Judge Robert S. Marx founds the holiday to raise awareness of wounded World War I soldiers and the sacrifices they made.
Alaska chooses the recognizable petals as its state flower.
New Zealand launches its own Forget Me Not Day every June 5 and 6 to raise Alzheimer’s disease awareness.
Frank Buckles, the U.S.’s last WWI veteran passed away at the age of 110.
Forget Me Not Day FAQs
Who celebrates Forget Me Not Day?
Everyone, but it’s especially important for American veterans who have been injured in the line of battle.
Is Forget Me Not Day connected to forget-me-not flowers?
Not directly, forget-me-not flowers have come to symbolize a loved one’s memory in trying times, however, they are sold as fundraisers on the holiday.
Who is honored on Forget Me Not Day?
Forget Me Not Day is dedicated to those still with us who have put their lives on the line for their country.
What are some organizations that help veterans?
The Wounded Warrior Project, ThanksUSA, and the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust are among the many organizations dedicated to helping vets.
FORGET ME NOT DAY ACTIVITIES
Buy a bunch of forget-me-nots
The pretty blue flowers are associated with lost loved ones and their memory. This Forget Me Not Day, buy a bunch and offer them to a disabled vet near you.
Donate to a veteran-supporting charity
What better way to say thank you to the vets who have made sacrifices than by supporting organizations that support them? If you can’t donate, you can also volunteer to show your support.
Spread the word
The general public is tragically ill-informed about Forget Me Not Day. Spread the word on social media or within your immediate circle to bring awareness to this incredible holiday.
5 AMAZING FACTS ABOUT WORLD WAR I
The bombs were crazy loud
A Belgian battlefield explosion was said to have been heard over 140 miles away in England.
It was great for mail services
It’s estimated that over 12 million letters were delivered to soldiers each week.
It inspired the young to take action
The youngest WWI soldier was a 12-year-old British boy.
Dogs were loyal servants
Dogs were used to transport letters and orders to the frontlines; they also laid telegraph lines.
It launched plastic surgery
WWI doctors were early pioneers in facial reconstruction after treating victims of shrapnel damage.
WHY FORGET ME NOT DAY IS IMPORTANT
Our veterans risk their lives overseas
It’s easy to think about those who lost their lives in the line of battle, however, we don’t think of those who have lost their limbs but returned from war alive as often. Forget Me Not Day reminds us of the sacrifices living veterans have made and, in some cases, still continue to make.
Veterans can suffer numerous setbacks upon their return to civilian life
Just because a soldier returns home does not mean he or she will have an easy transition to civilian life. The loss of limbs or severe mental distress, such as PTSD, can cause setbacks and handicaps they must overcome after the military. Forget Me Not Day brings awareness to the less celebratory side of returning from war.
It’s a great way to give back
Not everyone is cut out for military service, however, that doesn’t mean we can’t support our country and those that fight for it. Observing Forget Me Not Day is an excellent way to pay homage to and thank those who do go out and risk their lives, and who have suffered in the process.
Forget Me Not Day dates