Red poppies along highways honor fallen veterans


From staff reports

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Red poppies are blooming along North Carolina highways in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the nation’s entry into World War I.

Division 1 has planted a total of 14 acres of poppies, both red and mixed corn poppies and Bachelor’s Button in several locations.

Some of the commemorative plantings in the 14-county region can be found at: Chowan County, US Highway 17N at Exit 224, Pasquotank County US 17 Bypass and Forman-Bundy Road Overpass and Pasquotank County US 17 Bypass across from Exit 264.

The Forman-Bundy overpass location has a large blue cornflower star in the middle of a wildflower meadow filled with red poppies interspersed with Rocket Larkspur, Cosmos and Plains Coreopsis.

Statewide, NCDOT’s Roadside Environmental unit planted an additional 70 acres of red poppies, an internationally recognized remembrance of sacrifice by our military veterans. The poppies are part of the U.S. World War I Commission’s nationwide efforts to raise awareness and give meaning to the events that took place 100 years ago.

The program was initiated last summer after the United States World War One Centennial Commission, contacted NCDOT to discuss its wildflower program, states Pat Mansfield, Division Roadside Environmental Engineer.

"They were impressed with the results NCDOT’s has achieved seeding these two wildflower species which have become synonymous with WW1," Mansfield stated in a news release. "The DC group worked with the Garden Club of NC and others who envisioned red poppy and bachelor’s button planted along the interstate and primary corridors of North Carolina and other Atlantic coast states. "

Jerry Hester, a member of the U.S. World War One Commission, stated “We want to honor those who have served and do it in a way that’s dignified as well as beautiful.”