Annual poppy sales will promote remembrance

Poppy poster contest winners from Central Middle School pictured with poppy program co-chair Lavonne Kroells include, Samantha Krohn (grand champion), Morgan Schultz (first), Ava Franck (second) and Elizabeth Becker (third). (Adam Gruenewald/The Times)

The poppy has become traditional as the Memorial Day flower and as the symbol of remembrance for the men who have lost their lives or their health in the defense of their country. Its significance has spread throughout the world and a sale of artificial poppies is conducted throughout the world.
Every step in the production and sale of the buddy poppy serves a useful purpose. The poppies are assembled by needy and disabled veterans who are paid for their work; the income to the State and National organizations helps provide needed services; the income to the Post and Auxiliary is used entirely to aid needy veterans; and the wearing of the poppy on Memorial Day symbolizes the nation’s grief for its departed heroes.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion is especially proud that its poppy sales are conducted strictly and entirely by volunteers. No poppy sellers are paid for their work. Their recompense comes from a sense of pride in helping the less fortunate.
In addition to their sales, Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts and American Legion and Auxiliaries use poppies for other purposes.
They are made into wreaths to decorate the graves of deceased members; they are used in floats in parades; and they are made into corsages, table decorations and window displays. Each poppy that is used does its job in reminding people of the sacrifices of the few and the obligations of the many.
The memorial poppy is never sold, but given in exchange for contributions. All proceeds from the distribution of the poppy event are invested in local programs for the benefit of veterans and their families.
Notably, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton has proclaimed the month of May as poppy month in part because “the freedom and liberty that Americans enjoy, longed for by people around the world, are the direct result of the many sacrifices made by the United States’ veterans.”
The sites where poppies will be available starting Wednesday, May 17,  this year are CarQuest, Family Dollar, Last Call, Quilting Grounds, Gail’s Hair Salon, NAPA, Home Solutions, Unkle Thirsty’s, Pour House, Hamburg Bank, Parkside Tavern and Hillcrest Cafe. Then on May 18 and 19, Auxiliary members will be distributing poppies at Klein and Citizen Bank and Econo Foods.