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The poppy has become an enduring symbol of the perseverance and resilience of wounded soldiers, especially after seeing it grow on the battlefield after World War I. They are especially visible on Memorial Day, when those who died in the line of duty are honoured. Celebrated in England and Commonwealth States. After World War I ended (as early as 1919), the Society had been selling cotton or poppy poppies to raise funds for veterans. In Australia, an animal has decided to pay homage by using a poppy in a completely different way.  

 Since early October, the  Australian War Memorial has seen poppies disappear from the grave of an unknown Australian soldier. This caused some confusion until the staff looked up. There they saw  a pigeon diligently nesting on the ledge of a stained-glass window. The fact that pigeons were poppy thieves was actually a pleasant surprise given the role  these birds played during the war.

As historian Dr. Melea Hampton points out, communication was difficult during the early wars because modern technology was not available. Just as horses were used to transport troops and supplies, pigeons were used to convey important messages in an era when soldiers could not easily convey information. Their role continued during World War II when environmental conditions continued to cause communication problems. 

 “We often think of World War II as a time when technology took over,” said Dr. Hampton. “Instead of horses, there are trucks, wireless radios, and sophisticated radar beacons. However, especially in the Pacific Ocean, the mountains and  humidity prevented wireless radio from working properly, so pigeons were in fact the most efficient way to transmit messages to Owen Stanley and throughout the island."
Pigeons, are in fact, a valuable military asset that the Australian Signal Pigeon Bureau established in 1942. In two years, 13,500 pigeons were trained as carriers, and Australia even advised the US military on how to enter their service. In the end, the pigeons did their job so well that some of them were awarded the Deakin Medal,  awarded to animals that displayed a high level of service and dedication during World War II.

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