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A portable memorial to fallen soldiers blooms in Washington

In our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, a temporary memorial, now on the National Mall, honors the hundreds of thousands of U.S. military members who lost their lives since the turn of the 20th century with 645,000 poppies.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    And now to our "NewsHour" Shares, something on this Memorial Day we want you to know.

    The Poppy Memorial arrived on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., this weekend, commemorating all of the American service members who have died since World War I.

  • John Bird:

    It's 133-feet-long, containing 645,000 poppies, each representing an American service man or woman killed in combat since World War I.

    In World War I, a Canadian officer visiting a comrade whom he had lost in a grave site saw poppies growing up among the crosses. He penned a poem, "In Flanders Field." Three years later, an American woman, Moina Michael, wrote her own poem, "We Shall Keep the Faith."

    And in that, she said we should never forget the fallen. And she recommended wearing a poppy, as I'm doing. So, from that day forward, the poppy has been the symbol of the fallen.

    The memorial is located here in a ideal location on the Mall, surrounded by the Vietnam Memorial, the Korean Memorial, the Lincoln, the World War II Memorial, so that Americans can see the connection between those memorials and 645,000 lives lost.

    When you think about our history, and you think that World War I was the war to end all wars, and we have had World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and our men and women in service are in combat right now, I think that has a lot of significance on both sides, the tragedy, as well as the inspiration that they're willing to fight for their country and, if necessary, die.

    We need to stop and think about what Memorial Day means as Americans, the men and women that made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be free.

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