Conservatively Speaking

State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.

Help a Vet- Buy a Poppy

Veterans issues

The malls. Grocery stores.  You’ll find them there this time of year, proud military veterans that have served America. Now they fight for their fellow comrades, armed not with rifles, but with poppies.

Poppy days have arrived.  Veteran soldiers lovingly assemble each nine-piece poppy to then offer for donations that are used exclusively to assist hospitalized and disabled veterans. The poppy’s bright red color symbolizes the bloodshed and sacrifices made by those who defended our country.

Poppies originated in the Belgium battlefields of World War I. Surrounded by soil damaged by death and destruction, red poppies somehow grew wild. Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian military wrote about the flower in his 1915 poem, In Flanders Fields: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row that mark our place…”

McCrae’s poem inspired Athens, Georgia native Moina Michael to write her own poem pledging to keep the memory of fallen World War soldiers alive by wearing a poppy daily while working at a canteen at the YMCA in New York City. During November 1918, Moina Michael purchased a bouquet of poppies and gave them to a group of businessmen holding a meeting at the YMCA. All she asked was that they wear the poppies in honor of fallen American Soldiers.

On a visit to New York, a French woman, Madame Guerin met Moina Michael and was taken by her daily tribute.   During 1920, Madame Guerin used the poppy as a fundraiser for orphans and convinced veterans’ organizations in several countries to sell the poppy to help underprivileged children in France. By the early 1920’s, Madame Guerin had brought her campaign to the United States. In no time, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion were distributing poppies made of crepe paper.

Even before Madame Guerin began working her poppy magic, the American Legion reports, “In Milwaukee, Wisconsin in June 1919, a refreshment booth was decorated with poppies.  It was stripped twice of the flowers.  Patriotic Americans had taken them and left contributions on the counter.  Volunteers collected the money and used it for the benefit of disabled veterans. Mrs. Mary Hanecy was a volunteer in Milwaukee that day and saw the potential for a fundraiser.  She took her idea to the Milwaukee American Legion Post 1.  In 1920 on the Saturday before Memorial Day the Post distributed 50,000 poppies with the assistance of the ladies.  They received donations totaling $5,000 that was used for veteran rehabilitation.”

Millions of poppies are made and distributed by veterans every year. The small flower’s trademark is the Buddy Poppy, named for the diligent poppy makers and the memories of their friends never returning home from war. Silk flowers today are made by veterans in 11 different locations around the country, including Milwaukee and sold for the aid, assistance, relief, and comfort of needy or disabled veterans or members of the Armed Forces and their dependents, and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans.

Offering the poppies is a self-fulfillment of the longtime motto of the Veterans of Foreign Wars: “To honor the dead by helping the living.” When you see these patriotic veterans out in your community, please consider a donation and wear your poppy as a demonstration of thanks and gratitude for soldiers service and giving their time and life for America.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools