Poppy Days in Blanchester is slated for Friday, May 28 from 2-6 p.m. at the Municipal Building.
In keeping with the Center for Disease & Control request for social distancing, there will be a fun drive-thru. Cars will enter off Main Street onto Clark Street by the playground and exit onto Cherry Street.
Along the route, which will be marked with cones, there will be posters and signs that local school children made about poppies. At the end of the route will be Little Miss Poppy — junior member Montana Jackson, granddaughter of ALA member Susan Jacobs.
Drivers will have an opportunity to give a donation to the American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Fund.
Every year for over 70 years the Women’s Auxiliary has had Poppy Ladies offering poppies at local businesses and banks. Last year, because of COVID-19, was the first time poppies were not offered. This year, to cut down on personal interactions, an alternative plan was developed.
On Thursday, May 27, Mayor John Carman will make a proclamation, declaring Friday, May 28, 2021 as official Poppy Day in Blanchester. Poppy Chairman Susan Jacobs will accept the proclamation on Facebook live for everyone to see.
The Poppy Fund is a restricted fund to be used only for hospitalized, disabled veterans and their families but has been broadened recently to include any active-duty service person.
All money collected goes into a separate account and is not used for general purposes. In the past, the Auxiliary has helped pay one month’s mortgage for a veteran that was on kidney dialysis. They have bought eyeglasses, mattresses and bedding for a needy veteran.
They stocked the VA food pantry with needed protein staples. They have donated toiletries, paper products, and baby shower gifts to the VA Hospital in Cincinnati among other things.
While the Veterans Service Commission in Wilmington should be the first line of action for any veteran in need, the Auxiliary comes alongside some veterans and gives them a lift.
The focus on the poppy began after the death and destruction that was part of World War I when beautiful, bright red poppies began to flourish in the soils of France and Belgium.
This little flower came to symbolize the blood shed during the battle following publication of the wartime poem In Flanders Fields. Moina Michael drew inspiration from this poem when she popularized the idea of wearing a poppy flower in memory of the lives lost in WWI.
Will you wear a poppy in memory of all who suffered, bled, and died for our country and for the freedoms that we so much cherish? Poppy cans will also be distributed in various businesses around town.
Please make a donation and pick up a poppy and wear it in remembrance.
Linda Mider is Americanism Chairman, American Legion Auxiliary, Marion Unit 179, Blanchester.