Besides Flanders fields, where will poppies grow?

Local members of the American Legion Auxiliary are looking for businesses that will allow them to distribute red poppies during the month of May.

The red poppies honor veterans’ past sacrifices and contribute to the needs of veterans.

"American Legion Auxiliary members from 20 units within Oneida County distributes the poppies throughout the month of May. With permission we position ourselves outside of area businesses," Public Relations Chairwoman Deborah Kryczkowski said.

The poppy has become a nationally known and recognized symbol of sacrifice to honor the men and women who served and died for their country in all wars.

"Wear the poppy in honor of the millions of Americans who have willingly served our nation, all too many of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice," said Department President Ann Geer. "The entire Memorial Day weekend will pay an honored tribute to all veterans, especially those who are currently serving overseas."

The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who make the red, handcrafted crepe paper flowers.

The poppy continues to provide a financial and therapeutic benefit to those veterans who construct them, as well as benefiting thousands of other veterans and their families by the revenues collected from poppy distributions.

In the battlefields of Belgium during World War I, poppies grew wild amid the ravages of war. The overturned soils of battle enabled the poppy seeds to be covered, allowing them to grow and forever serve as a reminder of the bloodshed of war.

Those interested in joining the American Legion family, should contact one of the local posts in Oneida County.