INDIANAPOLIS—5/17/17—The American Legion Auxiliary with The American Legion, both nationally headquartered in Indianapolis, will launch National Poppy Day the Friday before Memorial Day, this year May 26. The red poppy symbolizes the sacrifice of our U.S. servicemembers, from those who fought in World War I a century ago to those fighting today’s global War on Terror. Congress is poised to start a new tradition of proclaiming the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day.
During WWI, the blood-red poppy burst into bloom among the newly dug gravesites of those who died in battle overseas. In the early 1920s, The American Legion Family adopted the red poppy as its memorial flower. Ever since, the American Legion Auxiliary has raised awareness distributing poppies in communities throughout the nation, inspired by the poem In Flanders Fields written during WWI by Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian front line battlefield medic who saw firsthand the unexpected fields of red poppies emerge between the rows of new graves near the battle zones where blood was shed to protect freedom and democracy. The poppy has become an enduring symbol honoring the sacrifices of our veterans and the hope that none died in vain. Through its Poppy Program, the American Legion Auxiliary raises $5-6 million annually distributing poppies across the United States, with 100 percent of the funds going directly to help veterans in need.
“The red poppy is deeply symbolic of the tremendous sacrifices made to protect our freedom. Wearing a poppy honors our veterans and those serving in our U.S. Military,” said American Legion Auxiliary Executive Director/National Secretary Mary “Dubbie” Buckler.
The American Legion Family encourages everyone to honor our veterans and military this inaugural National Poppy Day on May 26 by donating to a local American Legion Auxiliary unit whose members will be distributing poppies Memorial Day weekend, or simply by wearing a poppy in remembrance of those who died fighting for our freedom and those still serving to protect our country today. Learn more about National Poppy Day at www.ALAforVeterans.org/Poppy.
About the American Legion Auxiliary: American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) members have dedicated themselves to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military, and their families, both here and abroad for nearly a century. As the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, ALA members volunteer millions of hours each year to support our veterans and military, teach high school juniors to be leaders through ALA Girls State programs, promote patriotism, provide scholarships and care packages, all with an annual ALA mission outreach impact of $2 billion. To learn more about the ALA’s mission or to volunteer, join, or donate, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.###
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