On Friday, Sept. 7 from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3388 and its Ladies Auxiliary will distribute Buddy Poppies at Hy-Vee, Fareway and Alco in Estherville. According to Post Commander Bob Fine, "VFW bylaws require that the proceeds from our distribution of Buddy Poppies must be used to benefit disabled and needy veterans and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans right here in the community."
In 1923, the VFW was the first veterans organization to promote a nationally organized campaign for the annual distribution of poppies assembled by disabled or hospitalized veterans. That tradition continues today, with more than 14 million poppies assembled by paid, disabled and hospitalized veterans each year. The members of the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary raise more than $15 million annually from the distribution of Bubby Poppies.
There are a lot of reasons you should support their efforts.
First of all, our disabled veterans deserve it. They have fought valiantly to protect and preserve our way of life. They are the chosen few who have protected our borders and engaged in foreign conflicts so we may live safe and happy lives. Ironically, their lives were for years neither safe nor happy.
Second, it will make you feel good about yourself by helping our disabled veterans. So how much should you give for a poppy? If you can afford it, $5 is a good place to start - more if you wish. But if you can only afford $1, go ahead and give the person selling poppies your dollar and wear your poppy proudly.
Tinally, the poppy is a symbol of peace and rebirth and is featured in the legendary poem, "Flanders Field", by Lt. Col. John McCrae:
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.
- Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae (1872 - 1918)