First poppy

Mayor Loren Graham buys the first poppy in Palmyra from Dannah Spratt, this year’s Poppy Girl. She is the daughter of Trevor and Danika Spratt. Behind them is Marcia Fohey, the Legion Auxiliary poppy chairman.

The public is urged to honor the nation’s fallen warriors and contribute to the continuing needs of veterans on National Poppy Day®, May 24 starting at noon  at County Market in Palmyra when members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 174 will distribute red poppies in exchange for a donation. 

The Flanders Fields poppy has become an internationally known and recognized symbol of the lives sacrificed in war and the hope that none died in vain. 

The American Legion Family called upon Congress to proclaim the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day, which was officially designated as such in 2017. 

“Wearing the poppy on National Poppy Day and throughout Memorial Day weekend is one small way to honor and remember our fallen warriors who willingly served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said ALA Unit 174 President Rhonda Dodd. “We must never forget.” 

The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who handcraft many of the red, crepe paper flowers. Making the poppies provides a financial and therapeutic benefit to the veterans, as well as a benefit to thousands of other veterans. 

When The American Legion Family adopted the poppy as its memorial flower in the early 1920s, the blood-red icon became an enduring symbol of honor for the sacrifices of our veterans from the battlefields of France in World War I to today’s global war on terror. 

The American Legion Auxiliary raises about $4 million each year distributing poppies throughout the nation, with 100 percent of the funds raised going directly to help veterans, military, and their families.

Founded in 1919, the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) helps to advance the mission of The American Legion. It is the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization and one of the nation’s most prominent supporters of veterans, military, and their families. 

ALA members volunteer millions of hours annually, with a value averaging $1 billion each year. From helping to draft the GI Bill in 1944 to advocating for veterans on Capitol Hill, The American Legion Family has been instrumental in advancing legislation that improves the quality of life for our nation’s veterans. 

To learn more and get involved, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.