Exclusive — Jason Trennert Leading the Effort to Bring Poppies to Wall Street to Honor Veterans

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - MAY 27: Veterans advocates stage a "flash mob" by holding po
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Jason Trennert, CEO of Strategist Securities LLC and leader of the Poppy Project, spoke with Breitbart News about his efforts to bring the practice of wearing poppies to Wall Street, a forgotten practice meant to show respect to the veterans who have served this country.

Although wearing poppies to honor fallen service members is more prominent in other countries like Canada or the United Kingdom, its roots date back to the United States shortly after World War One, Trennert told Breitbart News Saturday host Matthew Boyle.


“I think for those of us who may have traveled abroad from time to time, particularly in the Commonwealth countries, like the U.K. or Canada, you’ll see people wearing red crepe paper poppies around the Remembrance Day, which is November in the Commonwealth countries. And you’ll see it to a lesser extent here and there in the United States around Memorial Day,” Trennert said.

He explained that an American professor at the University of Georgia came up with the idea, which was based on a “very famous poem in Flanders Fields by a Canadian doctor who witnessed the the carnage in Ypres, in France, during World War One.”

According to The American Legion’s website:

The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars. It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms.

Led by the American Legion Auxiliary, each year members of The American Legion Family distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.

Trennert is leading the movement to get individuals on Wall Street to wear these poppies around Memorial Day, an effort he says has been “somewhat successful.”

“I’m 55 years old, and I didn’t really know that much about the poppy and didn’t realize that, again, its origins were in the United States. So about 10 years ago, we decided to start sending them out to clients, and every year we send out a couple thousand to clients. They’re extremely inexpensive, maybe 25 cents apiece or something. So it’s not breaking the bank for us. But I think we have been somewhat successful in our little corner of the world of getting people to practice this beautiful tradition here in the States,” Trennert said. “But, I think in many parts, it’s more culturally significant in the U.K. and Canada than it is here in the States. But I think it’s a nice way to honor our allies as well. And again, we, you know, we started the practice, so it would only be natural if we, if we did it ourselves.”

Trennert attributes the declining popularity of the poppies in the United States to the cultural insignificance of World War One compared to World War Two, the creation of a Memorial Day as a three-day weekend, and the fact that Americans got an extra day off from work during the Vietnam War, a time when “public displays of patriotism were not widely celebrated.”

“Sometimes you wonder why did the practice kind of fall out of favor in the states? Well, there’s been a number of theories on that. Part of it, it’s just that the origins of it really happened after World War One and World War One is for Americans, unfortunately, it’s just not not seen, is as culturally important, perhaps as World War Two. So that may be one of the reasons,” Trennert said.

“I think the other reason is that it became a three-day weekend, and we kind of view it unofficially as the start of summer. I think also at the time it became a three-day weekend, it was during the Vietnam War, where public displays of patriotism were not widely celebrated in some quarters, and unfortunately, that still exists in someplace[s],” he added.

“Of course, you know, the great irony is that the whole reason why we can have these thoughts is that of these men and women that that laid down their lives for us. So I think those are some of the reasons why it’s become less, less popular,” Trennert explained.

Breitbart News Saturday airs on SiriusXM Patriot 125 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at jdixonhamilton@breitbart.com or follow him on Twitter.


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