The poppy, which symbolizes freedom and the blood sacrificed by our troops during war, comes from the poem, In Flanders Fields, written by Lt. Col. John McCrae. The poem refers to the poppies that grew out of newly dug soldiers’ graves during World War I in Europe.
Moina Michael, a teacher from Georgia, read the poem while attending a YMCA overseas conference. She wrote her response to the poem and vowed to keep the promise by always wearing a red poppy to honor those who died.
The American Legion Auxiliary adopted the poppy as its memorial flower in 1921 and started the Poppy Program in 1924.
Today, Auxiliary members distribute millions of poppies, most handmade, in exchange for contributions to assist active-duty military, disabled and hospitalized veterans and their families, where financial and medical need is evident.
Marion Unit 179 will be distributing poppies on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20 in front of Kroger noon-4 p.m. and at Sav-a-lot, First National Bank, Peoples Bank and BDK 9 a.m.-6 p.m..