Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
From the Kimball American Legion Auxiliary Unit 261
Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, the red crepe paper poppy will be offered to the public by the American Legion Auxiliary. This reminder of the sacrifice of countless thousands in four wars is an annual event undertaken by the members of Unit #261 in Kimball.
Volunteers from the Unit will once again take part in this nation-wide program in memory of the citizen soldiers who gave their lives in the cause of freedom.
Funds collected on Poppy Days are used to assist the needy veteran and his family. It is a self-help program as the Auxiliary's familiar red paper poppy is hand-made by disabled and hospitalized veterans. These disabled and hospitalized veterans make the flowers by hand, petal by petal. It is part of a physical and psychological therapy program by veterans for veterans. These poppies are purchased by the auxiliary and offered to the public, not at a price, but for a contribution... a few cents to say America remembers.
This memorial flower was adopted by the American Legion Auxiliary in 1920, and since that time, programs have been conducted throughout the United States each year.
Contributions made on Poppy Days are used by the local Unit to aid needy veterans and their families in the community and in hospitals throughout the state. All proceeds are channeled directly into veterans' rehabilitation and welfare work for veterans' children and youth.
Auxiliary members from Kimball Unit 261 will ask the public to pause for a moment, pin on a poppy, and wear it with pride, remembering the civilian who took an oath to serve his country and gave his life so that America would survive today.
"Feel the pride and wear a poppy!"
Anita Hoefer-Poppy Chairman
Why wear a poppy?
"Please wear a poppy," the lady said and held one forth, but I shook my head
Then I stopped and watched as she offered them there
And the face was old and lined with care
But beneath the scars the years had made, there remained a smile that would not fade.
A boy came whistling down the street bouncing along on carefree feet.
His smile was full of joy and fun. "Lady," he said, "Can I have one?"
When she had pinned it on, he turned to say, "Why do we wear a poppy today?"
The lady smiled in a wistful way and replied, "This is Remembrance Day and the poppy there is for the gallant men who went to war. And because they did, you and I are free, that's why we wear a poppy, see.
"I had a boy about your size with golden hair and big blue eyes. He longed to play and jump about like a bird, he would race and shout. As the years went by, he learned and grew and became a man as you will too. He was fine and strong with a boyish smile, but he seemed to be with us such a short while.
"When the war broke out, he went away. I still remember his face that day. He smiled at me and said "Goodbye, I'll be back soon, Mum, so please don't cry."
"But the war went on and he had to stay, and all I could do was wait and pray. His letters told of the fighting with tanks and guns and cruel barbed wire and the mines, the bullets the bombs and fire.
"Until at last the war was won, so that's why we wear a poppy, son" The small boy turned as if to leave. He said, "Thanks lady, I'm glad to know. That sounded like an awful fight, but your son came home, right?"
A tear rolled down the folded cheek, she shook yer head but did not speak.
I slunk away feeling sick with shame and if you had been me, you'd have done the same,
For our thanks in giving is often delayed,
Though our freedom was bought ... and millions paid.