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American Legion Auxiliary to host annual Poppy Drive this weekend

Posted on Friday, May 19, 2017 at 10:41 am

STAFF WRITER

Erin McCullough and PRESS RELEASE

In preparation for Memorial Day, a day where Americans reflect on the ultimate sacrifices of those who served our country in the fight for freedom, the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 43 will be hosting its annual Poppy Drive this weekend.

Tullahoma citizens will have an opportunity to show their support for America’s veterans by buying and donning one of the bright red crepe-paper poppies that have become synonymous with the American Legion and its women’s auxiliary.

Saturday, May 20, was designated as “Poppy Day” in Tullahoma in support of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 43’s annual poppy sale. The Auxiliary will be selling the “remembrance poppies” Friday at Ascend Federal Credit Union and Traders Bank and Saturday at Wal-Mart and Kroger grocery stores. –Photo by Winston Brooks

The auxiliary, which hosts the drive each year, will be collecting donations outside Ascend Federal Credit Union and Traders Bank on today, May 19, and outside Wal-Mart and Kroger on tomorrow, May 20.

The Poppy Drive is the only fundraiser the Auxiliary Unit hosts each year.

The bright red “remembrance poppy” was first used worldwide in 1920 to commemorate the American soldiers who had died in the fields of France during World War I.

In the United States, The American Legion honors veterans of all wars by distributing red crepe-paper poppies in exchange for contributions to associations that benefit veterans near Memorial Day each year.

On Tuesday, May 2, Mayor Lane Curlee signed a proclamation designated Saturday, May 20, as Poppy Day in Tullahoma.

On hand at the reading of the proclamation were Poppy Drive Chairman Diana Robinson and Treasurer Wilma Kane.

Whereas,” the proclamation read, “the poppy, as the memorial flower for those who died in service to America, is a tradition which began in the years following the first world war and veterans returning to their homes in this country remembered the wild poppies which lined the devastated battlefields of France and Flanders, and the soldiers of all nations came to look upon this flower as a living symbol of their comrades’ ultimate sacrifice.”

It goes on to read that at present, approximately 25 million Americans wear Legion and Auxiliary poppies in tribute to the war-dead, contributing nearly $2 million dollars to the veteran’s hospital for the rehabilitation and well-being of disabled veterans.

Robinson said that all donations collected during the drive will benefit patients in the Alvin C. York Veterans Hospital in Murfreesboro, as well as veterans at the Tullahoma Life Care Center.

“The Auxiliary is proud to endorse the most worthy causes and pay tribute to our local veterans whose supreme sacrifices have kept our country free,” Robinson said.

The paper poppies will be available for any donation—there is no minimum contribution required, according to Robinson.

The drive will take place today, May 19, at Ascend Federal Credit Union and Traders Bank and tomorrow, May 20, at Wal-Mart and Kroger grocery stores.

Erin McCullough may be reached by email at tnrept09@lcs.net.