Poppy Drive

Locals encouraged to purchase, wear poppy to honor service members

Tullahoma citizens will have the chance to show their support for America’s veterans by buying and wearing one of the red crepe-paper poppies that have become symbol of remembering the sacrifices made in past wars.

The American Legion Auxiliary Unit 43, which hosts the Poppy Drive each year, will be collecting donations outside Credit Union and Traders Bank on Friday, May 24, and at Kroger and Walmart on Saturday, May 25.

On May 16, Mayor Lane Curlee signed a proclamation marking Saturday, May 25, Poppy Day in Tullahoma.

Poppy Drive Chairman Diana Robinson was at the reading of the proclamation. 

“Whereas,” the proclamation reads, “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.”

The proclamation goes on to read, 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.

The Poppy Drive event supports veterans and their families.

“The funds will help veterans’ families, patients in the Alvin C. York Veterans Hospital, as well as veterans at the Tullahoma Life Care Center,” Robinson said.

Without the public’s generous donations, we would not be able to do this, she said.

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

Red poppies were popularized as a symbol of ultimate sacrifice by John McCrae in his poem of 1915 In Flanders Fields.

He was inspired to write it in 1915, after presiding over the funeral of his friend and fellow soldier.

May 24 is National Poppy Day.

The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for the country in all wars. It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by the veterans while protecting freedom.

Robinson encourages locals to wear a poppy to honor those who have worn uniform to protect the nation.