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Remember Veterans with an American Legion Auxiliary Poppy

Members of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 180 and the American Legion Post 180 family in Great Bend invite the public to honor our fallen warriors and contribute to the continuing needs of our veterans by wearing a red poppy for Memorial Day. Let every American wear a memorial poppy and let everyone pause, if only for a moment on Memorial Day, to honor those who have given their lives that we may be free.

Handmade crepe paper poppies will be available for a donation.

National Poppy Day is Friday, May 27

A very special day for The American Legion Family, National Poppy Day honors the lives sacrificed in war. In 2017, Congress designated the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day.

Members of the Great Bend’s American Legion Auxiliary Unit 180 and the American Legion Post 180 family will be in front of both Dillons stores and Sutherlands on Friday, May 27 from noon to 4 p.m., Walmart from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Orscheln Farm & Home Supply and Waters Hardware from 2-4 p.m. to accept donations and hand out the poppies. Then Saturday, May 28, they’ll be in front of Sutherlands starting at 7 a.m., at Walmart and North Dillons at 8 a.m. and then Orscheln Farm & Home Supply, Waters Hardware, Sutherlands and South Dillons stores at 9 a.m. 

This year there are 3,000 poppies available, said Marianne Krallman. She is a co-chair of this year’s Poppy Program along with Jeannie Munsch.

The Flanders Field poppy has become an internationally known and recognized symbol of the lives sacrificed in war and the hope that none died in vain.

“Wear the poppy this Memorial Day weekend to honor and remember our fallen warriors who willingly served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” Krallman said. “We must never forget.”

The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who handcraft many of the red, crepe paper flowers. Making the poppies provides a financial and therapeutic benefit to the veterans, as well as a benefit to thousands of other veterans and their families through the donations collected.

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.

Replicas of poppies were first distributed in other countries following the end of World War I, and were inspired by the poem “in Flanders Fields,” written by Lt. Col. John McCrae of Canada in 1915 during World War I. In 1918 Moina Michael popularized the idea of wearing the red poppy in memory of the lives lost in World War I. In 1920 the poppy became the official flower of the American Legion Auxiliary to memorialize soldiers who fought and died during the war. 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.

About the Auxiliary

American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of more than $3.1 billion. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism.

To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join visit us www.ALA for The local auxiliary Unit 180 is on Face book at Kansas American Legion Auxiliary Unit 180.

In Flanders Fields

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.

— Lt. Col. John McCrae