BALTIMORE — This weekend is an important one, a time to honor the men and women who died serving our country.
"Each one of those poppies signifies one of those lives lost," said Eric Engquist, a veteran and USAA executive.
645,000 poppies lined a 130 foot long wall. It used to stand on the National Lawn during Memorial Day weekend, honoring those who have served and sacrificed since World War I.
For Engquist, some of the poppies represent memories.
"I have served with nearly 40 individuals who I am aware who have been killed in action since 9/11 and as a West Point graduate, I know 12 of my classmates who have paid the ultimate sacrifice," said Engquist.
Because of COVID-19, USAA has taken the wall online.
People are encouraged to post a poppy to honor a military member or veteran over Memorial Day weekend, especially as many local parades and events are still postponed this year.
"645,000 Americans have lost their lives. Many of those we will never know them personally, but we can all take time during our busy lives during Memorial Day weekend to honor their sacrifice because the very freedoms we are enjoying this weekend are because of their sacrifice," said Engquist.
They plan to build the Poppy Honor Wall once again, but the virtual option will be sticking around too.
"In years past, we’ve had tens of thousands of people have the opportunity to actually see the wall firsthand. Poppyinmemory.com now allows us to reach a much broader audience and be inclusive for those who are not able to travel," said Engquist.