POMEROY — American Legion Drew Webster Post 39 of Pomeroy will hold “Poppy Days” Sept. 10, 11 and 12, with the event having been postponed from its traditional Memorial Day weekend due to COVID-19.
JoAnne Newsome and Kathryn Johnson from the Ladies Auxiliary and Harley Johnson from American Legion Post 39 spoke with the commissioners on Thursday about the upcoming Poppy Days explaining the history of the poppy and its meaning to veterans.
According to The American Legion Family website, legion.org, the story of the poppy is as follows:
After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. Scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines.
On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.
Led by the American Legion Auxiliary, each year members of The American Legion Family distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.
Poppy Day is celebrated in countries around the world. The American Legion brought National Poppy Day® to the United States by asking Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day, as National Poppy Day.
On May 22, wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation’s uniform.
The commissioners unanimously approved recognizing Sept. 7-13 as Poppy Week.
Traditionally, the legion and auxiliary members have traditionally handed out poppies over Memorial Day weekend for a donation to the legion.
Due to COVID-19 delaying the original date, Post 39 will be set up at local businesses on Sept. 10, 11 and 12. Newsome explained that they will be set up outdoors and wearing masks in an effort to protect from COVID-19.
More from Thursday’s Meigs County Commissioner meeting will appear in an upcoming edition of The Daily Sentinel.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.