WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC, KYMA/KECY) - A striking exhibition in the nation's capital pays tribute to service members. The annual USAA Poppy Wall of Honor is back on the National Mall for this Memorial Day weekend.
The wall is filled with more than 645,000 red poppies. One for each of the men and women who laid down their lives in service to our country since World War I (WWI). It also features the history of the poppy and its relationship to honoring soldiers.
The remembrance poppy was inspired by the WWI poem, "In Flanders Fields," which refers to the red poppies that grew from the soldiers' graves in a region of belgium.
New to the wall this year: A special panel commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United States' exit from the Vietnam War.
"Every one of those poppies are handmade by the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion either with therapy wounded warriors or some type of opportunity to reflect on that," said Joel Vargas, Senior Military Affairs Rep for USAA and U.S. Navy retiree.
The annual exhibit is open to the public through Sunday.