Woodbury Mayor Anne Burt presented a proclamation to Woodbury American Legion Post 501 Commander Tom Grezek and Woodbury Veterans of Foreign War Post 9024 Paul Lindahl recognizing May 24, 2019, as National Poppy Day in Woodbury.
The American Legion has long utilized the red poppy as its official flower, symbolizing the bloodshed by those who have served in the U.S. military. National Poppy Day honors every service member who has worn the nation's uniform and service members who have died.
At the end of World War I, the American Legion adopted the poppy as a symbol of freedom and the blood sacrificed by troops in wartime. The symbolic use of the poppy comes from the poem "In Flanders Fields," which movingly begins, "In Flanders Fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row," referring to the poppies that sprang up in the churned-up earth of newly dug soldiers' graves over parts of Belgium and France.
The Woodbury American Legion Post 501 will host its annual Poppy Days April 26-28. Poppies will be distributed by Post 501 veterans and Woodbury Junior Air Force Reserve Officer Training Candidates at Woodbury businesses including Sam's Club, Walmart, Total Wine, Jerry's, Valley Creek Mall and Cub Foods from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on those dates. The Post requests that persons receiving a flower make a donation to support veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs as well as to support local scholarships and Woodbury charities that promote veterans care.