- Your News
By ANDREA AGARDY
Memorial Day is just around the corner, and American Legion Unit 43 Auxiliary of Tullahoma will be marking the occasion with its traditional poppy drive.
In a brief ceremony at city hall on Monday afternoon, Mayor Lane Curlee presented a proclamation to Petra Escue of the American Legion Auxiliary, and American Legion members Jon Gray and Bob Couch, poppy chairman, designating Saturday, May 26, 2012, as Poppy Day.
According to the proclamation, millions of Americans wear the poppies each year in memory of the nation’s war dead, contributing nearly $2 million to veterans’ hospitals.
The red paper poppies, which are made by disabled veterans, will be sold by American Legion family members at area banks on Friday and at local stores on Saturday.
Contributions collected this weekend will be donated to the Alvin C. York and Life Care nursing homes, as well as to any local veteran in need.
The red poppy gained its prominence as a symbol of the sacrifices made by members of the military in the famous poem “In Flanders Fields” written during World War I by Lt. Col. John McCrae, which begins with the lines, “In Flanders Fields the poppies blow between the crosses row on row.”
In November 1918, Moina Michael bought a bouquet of poppies and handed them out to businessmen where she worked, asking them to wear the flower as a tribute to the fallen. The American Legion family adopted the red poppy as its symbol to memorialize the nation’s war dead in 1923.
Those who want to contribute to the cause but are unable to purchase a poppy this weekend will have an opportunity to help. Poppy drive donations can also be sent to the American Legion Auxiliary, 208 Jefferson St., Tullahoma, 37388.