The annual American Legion Auxiliary May Poppy Campaign is currently underway at American Legion posts throughout the nation and region.
This year “National Poppy Day” will be observed on Friday, May 24.
Americans are encouraged to make donations to the American Legion Auxiliary by choosing to proudly display a poppy in commemoration of Memorial Day each year. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the American Legion Auxiliary.
According to Barb Becker, poppy chairman for the American Legion Auxiliary of the William Russell Post 404 in Vernon, “In 2017, the U.S. Congress declared that the Friday before Memorial Day will be our country’s National Poppy Day and this year we will celebrate on May 24. National Poppy Day is a strong renewal of our nation’s commitment to a powerful reminder of the cost of our freedom. I hope that everyone participating in Memorial Day festivities this year will show their support for veterans and those currently serving in our nation’s Armed Forces by wearing a poppy.”
The Post 404 Auxiliary has placed poppy donation canisters at several businesses in the Vernon area and will also be offering poppies at the Vernon Center and Vernon Memorial Day parades on Monday, May 27. The Vernon Center parade begins at the Vernon Center Volunteer Fire Department at 9 a.m.; the Vernon parade begins at Post 404 on Route 5 in Vernon at 11 a.m.
“Each year donations raised through the annual May Poppy Campaign benefit a number of veterans programs including the Warriors Assistance Program and the Children and Youth of Veterans Program,” explained Monica Strife, Post 404 Auxiliary president. “In honor and memory of all of our veterans, past and present, the American Legion Auxiliary asks that all citizens ‘Honor the fallen and support the living.’ We hope everyone will wear a red paper poppy on Memorial Day.”
About the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy
With Memorial Day Weekend fast approaching, Americans across our nation will be proudly displaying small, red paper flowers — veteran made poppies — in support of the many service men and women who have bravely defended our country and our rights as United States citizens since World War I.
The poppy is symbolic of many things:
The four petals represent Dedication, Sacrifice, Responsibility, Compassion
The red petals stand for the vast outpouring of blood
The black and green center represents the mud and desolation of battlefields
The green stem and foliage is symbolic of forests, meadows and fields where generations of Americans have perished to make this land free
The stem represents the courage and determination of our fallen warriors
The assembled poppy is a flower, a symbol of resurrection.