VFW Post 4139

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History of the Buddy Poppy Program

                     From its inception, the Buddy Poppy Program has helped the VFW live up to its motto, "to honor the dead by helping the living." The Buddy Poppy - small red flower symbolic of the blood shed in World War I by millions of Allied soldiers in defense of freedom - was originally sold to provide relief for the people of war-devastated France. Later, its sale directly benefited thousands of disabled and down-and-out American veterans.The poppy program actually got its start on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. Shortly after World War I, Madame E. Guerin,founder of the American and French In Flander's Fieldby 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.

                     Children's League, became concerned that the free world was "forgetting too soon those sleeping in Flanders Fields." Inspired by Colonel John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Field," which spoke of poppies growing in an Allied graveyard "between the crosses, row on row," Guerin decided on the poppy as the most appropriate memorial flower. She began attending the conventions of any serviceman's organization that would allow her to speak. Her request was always the same - to enact the following resolution: "Be it resolved that every member, if possible, and his or her family shall wear a silk red poppy."The poppy program was quickly embraced by the people of France, and also secured the sponsorship of the Prince of Wales, the Governors General of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and the President of Cuba. In each of these countries, veteran's organizations and their auxiliaries agreed to sell memorial poppies for the benefit of the children of France.

In Flander's Fields

In Flander's Fields
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