In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields
American Legion Auxiliary volunteers will be in front of Great Bend businesses with hand-crafted, red crepe paper poppies for donations from 2-6 p.m. Friday and all day Saturday.
They will also be out on Sunday if they still have some of the 3,000 poppies, said Marianne Krallman. She is a cochair of this year’s Poppy Program, along with Jeannie Munsch and Tammy Pfeifer.
Look for volunteers in front of Walmart and both Dillon’s stores from 2-6 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, they will be out as early as 7 a.m. at those locations and at Orscheln’s, Waters True Value and Sutherlands. If any poppies are left, they will return at noon Sunday.
All poppies are made by disabled or hospitalized veterans who earn a small wage, which helps to supplement their income and makes them feel more self-sufficient, according to the American Legion Auxiliary. Proceeds from the poppy donations are used to assist and support veterans and their families. The assistance is also available to active members of the military and their families.
The financial benefit realized by our nation’s veterans as a result of poppy distribution is huge; nearly 3.5 million poppies were distributed by units last year, raising $2.1 million.
Replicas of poppies were first distributed in other countries following the end of World War I, and were inspired by the poem “In Flanders Field,” written by Col. John McCrae of Canada in 1915 during World War I.
Connecting the visual image of the poppy with the sacrifice of service made by our veterans has been an important goal of the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program since its inception in 1921. The Poppy Program raises community awareness and respect for veterans by educating the public about the symbol of the poppy, taken from a line in the poem.