Tricounty News

Legion Poppy Program continues

The Kingston American Legion Auxiliary takes part in the Poppy Program.

The poppy was made the official memorial flower of the American Legion in 1920, and the American Legion Auxiliary in 1921.

The poppy program was made one of our national programs in 1924.

Moina Michael is known as our "Poppy Lady." Moina started her career at age 15 as a school teacher in Good Hope, Ga., She then went on as a teacher and was caught over-seas in Warold War I.

After America entered the war in 1917, Moina applied to become a volunteer for the Y.M.C.A. overseas as a war worker. She was 48 at this time. She helped thousands of stranded Americans book safe passage back to the homeland.

Nov. 9, 1919, just before the Armistice, Moina was on duty at the Y.M.C.A. Conference when she received a copy of the Ladies' Home Journal. Inside was the poem "We Shall Not Sleep," later named "In Flanders Field." The poem was written for a fellow soldier for a burial service.

Moina declared, "I shall buy red poppies and wear red poppies of Flanders Field."

She showed a gentleman "We Shall Not Sleep" at a conference. He gave her $10 and asked for a poppy to wear. Moina rushed out of the conference in search for flowers. She found a Wanamaker's Department Store that sold silk poppies.

Moina wore a poppy on her collar until she returned home to Georgia in 1919, and became known as the "Poppy Lady." It has been the memorial flower of the auxiliary since 1921.

Ann Hamilton,

Auxiliary Public Relations