American Legion Auxiliary volunteers will distribute the familiar red, handcrafted poppies honoring America's war dead on May 26 designated as Poppy Day by Wallace American Legion Auxiliary Unit in Vermillion.
The annual event pays tribute to those veterans who have died in past wars. It also honors the millions of Americans who have willingly served their country.
All proceeds of the distribution are used for the benefit of veterans and their families. The memorial poppy is never sold, but given in exchange for a contribution.
The paper poppies are each handmade by veterans who benefit from the proceeds which augment fixed benefits and help with daily living expenses, contributing to a greater feeling of self-sufficiency. The physical and mental activity provides many therapeutic benefits for the veteran.
The image of the poppy as a memorial flower to the war dead can be traced to a single individual, Ms. Moina Michael, who in November 1918, bought a bouquet of poppies and handed them to businessmen where she worked. She asked them to wear the poppy as a tribute to the fallen.
Today, more than 5 million poppies are made each year by disabled veterans, generating nearly $2 million in contributions.
The American Legion Auxiliary was founded in 1919, and is the world's largest patriotic women's service organization. With a membership of over 850,000 local American Legion Auxiliary units have a strong presence in more than 9,500 communities nationwide. The American Legion Auxiliary mission to serve veterans, their families and their communities is carried out through its hundreds of outreach programs delivered by its members, volunteers, and National Headquarters.