VFW Post 9892 

               Buddy Poppy History

FROM FLANDER'S FIELDS TO MAIN STREET...                                                                                                                                   

In April of 1915 a battle-weary Canadian soldier viewed the finalplace of thousands of young men who had fallen in the second Battle of Ypres in Belgium. Despondently he contemplated the rows of hastily dug  graves each marked with a single white cross.

In a sudden revelation, he heard the singing of larks in the sky, and amid the graves he saw gay little patches of red - wild poppies, struggling through the battle-torn soil and through the clay mounds of the graves to bring their message of life among death.

Inspired, Col. John McCrae sat down and penned the three short verses of his famous poem "In Flanders Field". Published in PUNCH Magazine a few months later, the poem brought a message of confidence to millions of people in the dark hours of World War I and established the Flanders Poppy as the symbol of faith and hope in a war-torn world.

Although Col. McRae never lived to see the end of World War I, his poem has survived in print and in the minds and hearts of generations to whom his personal battle were mere history. The poppies which provided his inspiration still bloom in Flanders Fields; but their message of hope has become reality through the Veterans of Foreign Wars Buddy Poppy.

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.
Col. John McRae

 


More than 13 million people each year purchase and wear a VFW Buddy Poppy to renew their pledge to Col. McRae's fallen soldier. Since the first nation wide sale was conducted in 1922, nearly half a billion Buddy Poppies have been distributed and proudly worn by concerned Americans.

The VFW Buddy Poppy is made by patients in veterans hospitals throughout the United States. The work provides needed therapy for hands and minds crippled by the ravages of war, and the pay earned provides a few simple luxuries to ease the boredom of hospital life.

In keeping with its pledge to "Honor the Dead by Helping the Living", the sale is conducted exclusively by volunteers and the Veterans of Foreign Wars dedicates the profits to the aid and assistance of disabled and needy servicemen and veterans, and the widows and orphans or deceased veterans.

Counseling service for disabled veterans, entertainment of hospital patients, assistance to servicemen, direct aid to needy families - all are provided in part by the sale of Buddy Poppies.

After more than half a century, the poppy still brings its message of hope to those who have borne the brunt of battle.