Washington Evening Journal
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 24, 2014

Auxiliary to sell Memorial Day poppies

May 22, 2013

Members of the American Legion Auxiliary will be handing out the traditional Memorial Day poppies at various locations May 23-24.

Connecting the visual image of the poppy with the sacrifice of service made by veterans has been an important goal of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program since its inception in 1921. On Memorial Day and Veterans Day, millions of red crepe paper poppies — all handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation — are distributed across the country in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities.

The Poppy Program raises community awareness and respect for our veterans by educating Auxiliary members and the public about the symbol of the poppy, taken from a line in the poem “In Flanders Fields” written on the battlefront during World War I by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D.

From the battlefields of World War I, weary soldiers brought home the memory of a barren landscape transformed by wild poppies, red as the blood that had soaked the soil. By that miracle of nature, the spirit of their lost comrades lived on.

The poppy became a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war and represented the hope that none had died in vain. The American Legion Auxiliary poppy has continued to bloom for the casualties of four wars, its petals of paper bound together for veterans by veterans, reminding America each year that the men and women who have served and died for their country deserve to be remembered.

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