Purchase A Buddy Poppy This Month, Support Veterans Program
Did you know buying a poppy helps our veterans? The Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Buddy® Poppy is an artificial red flower assembled by disabled and needy veterans in eleven VA Hospital facilities across the country. These veterans are paid for their work. The Buddy® Poppy trademark, along with the VFW label, guarantee the flowers are the work of our veterans.
Why are red poppies the symbol representing the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ motto “to honor the dead by helping the living”? The red poppies of Flanders Fields were the inspiration, and are symbolic of the blood shed in World War I by millions of Allied soldiers.
A Canadian medical officer, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, served in Belgium during World War I. In May of 1915, he lost a good friend and former student to a German shell in the second battle of Ypres. Heartbroken and moved by the sight of so many allied graves, he wrote the famous poem titled “In Flanders Fields.” It depicts the sight of red poppies blowing in the breeze “between the crosses, row on row” at the cemetery there. Toward the end of the war, Lieutenant Colonel McCrae died of pneumonia and is buried in France.
From 1914 to 1918, Belgium’s Flanders Fields was a major battle theater. A million soldiers from more than 50 countries were wounded, declared missing, or killed in action there. Today, the Flanders Fields memorial site offers a museum, monuments-including one honoring Americans who fought and died-and cemeteries where soldiers from many countries are buried. The American cemetery holds 368 of our WWI soldiers who died while liberating Belgium. The poppies still grow on the grounds, and instead of a ticket, a visitor to the museum is given a bracelet with a picture of a red poppy.
The Sullivan Russell A. Schmitt VFW Post 3987 will be selling Buddy® Poppies around town again this November for Veterans’ Day. The poppy program does a great job supporting veterans’ rehabilitation and service programs. When your local VFW post places an order for poppies, money sent to purchase the flowers is distributed to national and state programs for veterans, including the VFW National Home for Children.
The donation you give here at home stays here. Your contributions are deposited into the Sullivan VFW Relief Fund for the aid, relief, and comfort of needy or disabled veterans, and members of the Armed Forces and their dependents. There is no set amount for the donation; you give what you can. Any and all donations are truly appreciated.
When you see a VFW representative at a local business this coming weekend, please say hello and buy a poppy. Wear it proudly.