Opinion: Wear the poppy during May
It's all about sacrifice. Members of veterans organizations, such as the American Legion Auxiliary, will be wearing memorial poppies during the month of May to honor the sacrifices so many have made to preserve our freedom.
Because of an accident of botany, the poppy came to symbolize the sacrifices so many young men made during World War I. One characteristic of the poppy is that it germinates once the soil has been disturbed. And so, when the fields of Belgium were turned over to provide graves for the thousands of men who died there, the poppies flourished in the newly disturbed soil. The soldier saw the flowers as a tribute to their fallen friends.
Locally, two organizations are active in selling the memorial poppies: the American Legion Auxiliary and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The poppy also honors the hospitalized and disabled veterans who make the handcrafted flowers. The poppy continues to provide a financial and therapeutic benefit to those veterans who construct them, as well as benefiting thousands of other veterans and their families by the revenues collected from poppy distributions.
The Legion Auxiliary encourages Americans to wear a poppy during May.
"Wear it in honor of the millions of Americans who have willingly served our nation," urges Marlene VanBibber, president of the Shawnee Auxiliary, Unit 327.
Also encouraging the purchase and wearing of the poppies are Shawnee VFW Post No. 10552, Richard Soetaert, commander.