May is here, the snow is gone and the Poppies are blooming. Among all the flowers that evoke the memories and emotions of war is the red poppy, which became associated with the war after the publication of the poem “In Flanders Field” written by Colonel John McCrae of Canada. This month you will see the American Legion and VFW members at various locations around Naperville proudly collecting for the Poppy funds of the respective organizations.
The one point that I want to make sure you understand is that 100 percent of monies collected are used to help Veterans and Veterans causes. Our bylaws state that. In fact, no administration costs or other costs come out of funds raised. We are volunteers. We are “Veterans helping Veterans.”
This year American Legion Post 43 will be holding its “Poppy Day” on Thurs. May 15. All monies collected will be sent to Operation Comfort Warrior. This program is dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured or ill military personnel and Veterans by providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government and Veterans Administration.
Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 “Buddy Poppy Days” are May 20-26. The Poppies are assembled by disabled and needy Veterans in VA Hospitals and are distributed by VFW Posts and their Auxiliaries. The funds collected help Veterans and active duty troops in the Naperville area.
IN FLANDERS FIELD
by John McCraeIn 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; we 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 falling 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.
That poem never fails to bring a tear. When you see the Veterans and their loved ones out there distributing Poppies donate generously. Remember all the funds collected help Veterans in need.
RELATED POST: From the Mike Barbour Archive, “What I’ll Be Doing on Memorial Day.” Use the Search for Something tool to find more “Mike Barbour” columns on PN’s website.