With Memorial Day on the horizon, Legislator Tom Donnelly and the American Legion Post 1634 of West Babylon remind the public that Congress has designated May 26, 2018 as National Poppy Day" and encourage Americans to wear or display a red poppy as a symbol of remembrance and hope.
"The American Legion is pleased to have brought National Poppy Day" to the United States," said, Joseph Regina 2nd Vice Commander of American Legion Post 1634. "Wearing a poppy the Friday before Memorial Day is done to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and as a symbol of hope for the generations to come who will answer our nation's call to military service. It is important for Americans to remember that we have an entirely new group of veterans, and supporting them and their families is absolutely essential."
The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed by those who fought and those who continue to still fight for our country following World War I. It was popularized by the publication of the wartime poem "In Flanders Fields." The poem was written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, M.D., while serving on the front line in World War I, to honor soldiers killed in battle. In 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion Family.
Each year, members of The American Legion Family, led by the American Legion Auxiliary, distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation. All donations received on National Poppy Day will be used by the American Legion to support the future of local veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.