I’m not sure how I didn’t know about Buddy Poppies before. I wish I had, and now that I do, I want to make sure others do as well!
I was doing some reading about Memorial Day. When I was younger, I never thought much about it – especially since it was near the end of the school year, when there were so many other things going on. One unfortunate thing is that holidays seem to have changed over the years, so what many people notice and think about are the commercial aspects. If you don’t need to buy presents for a holiday, it’s not as noticed most of the time. It wasn’t until I got older that I really started to think about Memorial Day. Having friends and relatives who are active military or veterans increased my interest, of course. I don’t have any close friends or family members who have died in war (counting my blessings), but so many others do. I wanted to learn more about this Memorial Day holiday that we observe.
It turns out that there are several things I didn’t know about Memorial Day, and one of them that I find very interesting is the Buddy Poppy. Poppies were symbols of the blood shed by those who died serving their country in the armed services. The VFW came up with the idea of having injured veterans make paper poppies for distribution. The veterans are compensated, and the extra income allows them some well-deserved comforts to improve their time in the hospital. For some of them, they have the added benefit of the needed therapeutic effects of using their hands and fingers to create these flowers. I imagine it also is therapeutic to them to have something so meaningful to do, especially when they might be feeling the shock of an altered body or the mixed feelings of having to leave the service. Just about everyone gets emotional benefits from doing good deeds and helping others. I consider the Buddy Poppy to be a wonderful idea that benefits all who are involved.
Please visit the following websites for more information.
http://www.vfw.org/PR/Scholarships/Buddy%20Poppy.pdf and http://www.vfwpahq.org/patriotism/buddy-poppy/ to learn more about the Buddy Poppy program
http://www.greatwar.co.uk/poems/john-mccrae-in-flanders-fields.htm to read the poem that inspired the use of poppies
http://faq.vfw.org/faq/index.php?View=entry&EntryID=483 to find out how/where to order Buddy Poppies
I wish I had found this information in time for Memorial Day this year, but don’t want to wait until next year to share it with everyone. Although Buddy Poppies are most closely associated with Memorial Day, they can be used on many other days. I am working on getting more information, and hope to make Buddy Poppies a part of Flag Day, Independence Day, and other patriotic holidays in the future for more and more people. I hope to inspire others to join me!