Buddy Poppy Days: Numerous chapter members eagerly volunteer their time to make this three day event a yearly success.
Steve Bruton and Gary "Ouch" Boucher Bob Lamoureux and Gary "The Bear" Kubik
Ron King Don "Digger" Dignan
Nancy Dignan Patty Bielskis
Dennis Bielskis Al Kerbyson and Bob Lamoureux
Vaughn Hull Gary Pritchard
Ron King, Chairman
In the years immediately following World War 1, governments and the whole of society, had not accepted the responsibility for those incapacitated and left bereft as a result of war. In Britain, massive unemployment accentuated the problem. Earl Haig, the British Commander-in-Chief, undertook the task of organizing the British Legion as a means of coping with the problems of hundreds and thousands of men who had served under him in battle. In 1921, a group of widows of French ex-servicemen called on him at the British Legion Headquarters. They brought with them from France some poppies they had made, and suggested that they might be sold as a means of raising money to aid the distressed among those who were incapacitated as a result of the war. The red Flanders' poppy was first described as a flower of remembrance by Colonel John McCrea, who was Professor of Medicine at McGill University of Canada before World War One. Colonel McCrea had served as a gunner in the Boer War, but went to France in World War One as a medical Officer with the first Canadian Contingent. He was KIA.
Madame E. Guerin, conceived the idea of widows manufacturing artificial poppies in the devastated areas of Northern France which then could be sold by veterans' organizations worldwide for their own veterans and dependants as well as the benefit of destitute French children. Throughout 1920-21, Guerin and her representatives approached veteran organizations' in the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand and urged them to adopt the poppy as a symbol of remembrance. It was as a result of the efforts of Michael and Guerin both of whom became known endearingly as the "Poppy Lady" that the poppy became an international symbol of remembrance. One of Guerin's representatives, Colonel Alfred Moffatt, came to put the poppy initiative to the New Zealand Returned Solders' Association (as the RNZRSA was originally known) in September 1921 and an order for some 350,000 small and 16,000 large silk poppies was duly placed with Madame Guerin's French Children's League. In common with veteran organizations in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, the RSA had intended to hold its inaugural Poppy Appeal in association with Armistice Day 1921 (11 November 1921). However, the ship carrying the poppies from France arrived in New Zealand too late for the scheme to be properly publicized prior to Armistice Day, thereby forcing the RSA to postpone its Poppy campaign until the day prior to ANZAC Day 1922. Thus Poppy Day, as it was immediately known, became uniquely associated with ANZAC Day, whereas in Australia, as with the United Kingdom and Canada, the appeal continued to be associated with Armistice Day.
The above information was obtained from http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-tributes/poppy.htm
Among all the flowers that evoke the memories and emotions of war is the red poppy, which became associated with war after the publication of a poem written by Col. John McCrae of Canada. The poem, "In Flander's Field," describes blowing red fields among the battleground of the fallen. For more than 75 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans' welfare and the well being of their dependents. The VFW conducted its first poppy distribution before Memorial Day in 1922, becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution. The poppy soon was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. It was during the 1923 encampment that the VFW decided that VFW Buddy Poppies be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with some form of financial assistance. The plan was formally adopted during the VFW's 1923 encampment. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh assembled VFW Buddy Poppies. The designation "Buddy Poppy" was adopted at that time. In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy Poppy" with the U.S. Patent Office. A certificate was issued on May 20, 1924, granting the VFW all trademark rights in the name of Buddy under the classification of artificial flowers. The VFW has made that trademark a guarantee that all poppies bearing that name and the VFW label are genuine products of the work of disabled and needy veterans. No other organization, firm or individual can legally use the name "Buddy" Poppy. Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals. The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans.
This information was obtained from http://www.vfw.org/index.cfm?fa=cmty.levelc&cid=127.
In Flander's Field
by John McCrae
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead.
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved and now we lie,
In Flanders Fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw,
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us, who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow,
In Flanders Fields.
The red poppy is NOT the opium poppy. Poppies grow in nearly every country. Chapter Web Pages