Poppy Day, May 21, to honor veterans

Poppy Day, May 21, to honor veterans American Legion Auxiliary volunteers will distribute the familiar red, handcrafted poppies honoring America's war dead on May 21, designated as Poppy Day by Auxiliary Unit #1 in Vermillion.  Planned to coincide with the Memorial Day holiday, the annual event pays tribute to those veterans who have died in the last 80 years.  It also honors the millions of Americans who have willingly served their country in eight decades.   It serves and honors veterans with all proceeds from the distribution invested in local programs for the benefit of veterans and their families.   Each nine-piece poppy is made by veterans in Auxiliary-sponsored Poppy Shops that supplement physical and psychological therapy needed by hospitalized and disabled veterans.  The Auxiliary provides the materials and the volunteers.  The veteran makes the poppy and is paid a small amount for each painstakingly-made flower.  For some it is his or her only income.  No matter what the cost of maintaining and supplying the Poppy Shops, the memorial poppy is never sold, but given in exchange for contribution.   The Poppy program has been part of Auxiliary programming for more than 70 years.  It has been estimated that approximately 25 million Americans wear the poppy to honor America's war dead and veterans, contributing over $2 million for rehabilitation and welfare programs.

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