FAIRBORN — Poppy Day, the annual event recognizing and benefiting veterans through the American Legion, has been postponed in Fairborn until July 10. Mayor Paul Keller read a proclamation last week, declaring the date a holiday in Fairborn, after coronavirus restrictions pushed the event back once more.
Fairborn Dignam-Whitmore Post 526 hosts the annual event, spearheaded by the post Women’s Auxiliary.
“Usually we have a poppy distribution in May, but we didn’t know if we could,” said Cuca Bowan, president of the American Legion Womens Auxiliary. National Poppy Day 2021 was on May 28, and the annual holiday usually corresponds with Memorial Day.
The purpose of Poppy Day is to raise money for veterans’ causes through the American Legion, and to commemorate those who died in wartime, Bowan said. Disabled veterans are employed to make the poppies, and all proceeds go to support veterans and active-duty military personnel and their families, particularly those with medical and financial needs.
The legion is hoping to distribute the poppies and collect donations outside Kroger in Fairborn, as well as downtown outside several local businesses.
Poppies flourished in Europe after World War I, and were commonly seen around the gravesites of fallen servicemembers in the aftermath of the conflict. The poppy has since become a symbol to memorialize fallen soldiers and became the official flower of the American Legion in 1920. Distribution of the poppy became a national program of the organization in 1924.
The flower is immortalized in the poem “In Flanders Fields,” penned by Lt. Col. John McCrae.
Reach London Bishop at 937-502-4532 or follow @LBishopFDH on Twitter.