The Herald Bulletin

May 13, 2014

Viewpoint: Show you care, wear a poppy

By Emilie Isenhour American Legion Auxiliary
The Herald Bulletin

---- — Did you ever just stop and wonder just how lucky you are to have the freedom we have today. It didn’t just happen. Many fought and died for this freedom many years ago. They are called veterans. These men were not in favor of war but they knew protecting our freedom was the more important matter. Still today in our country and in other parts of the world our servicemen and women are still protecting our freedom.

This month is Poppy Month. For over 90 years this month has been designated to honor our veterans. Near the end of World War l, one of the last and bloodiest battles was fought in a place called Flanders field near Ypres, Belgium. That fall the war was ended and in the spring where the bloody battle was fought there was a field of wild red poppies blooming.

The doughboys who walked away saw the poppies as a “renewal of hope” and they pledged the poppy be chosen as a symbol to those who would never leave and it would be a perpetual memorial to their sacrifice and bravery. Wearing a poppy is a great way to say thanks to those veterans and for the continued sacrifice of veterans and servicemen and women.

In the nearly 150 cemeteries in this area rows upon rows of crosses and headstones marked the graves of the 1 million U.S., European and Australian soldiers and civilians who gave their lives in almost four years of this combat. Veterans groups of England, New Zealand, Australia and Canada have joined the United States to promote the poppy as a sign of our gratitude to the veterans.

The red flower you see with the ladies of the Anderson Legion Auxiliary standing in front of Wal-Mart this Friday and Saturday, May 16 and 17, is the poppy, a reminder of the men who protected our freedom. By wearing it you are showing your thanks and gratitude .

All the money we receive stays in Indiana, unless a Hoosier serviceperson overseas needs aid.

Thank you for taking the time to stop and donating to our poppy fund.

There is no greater way to say thank you to a veteran and show your patriotism than by wearing a poppy.

Emilie Isenhour is poppy chairman for American Legion Auxiliary Unit 127.