Amy Cunningham
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Loveta Medlin knows how important it is to support veterans, she’s hoping that Spring Hill residents will feel the same way this Saturday when her group, the Cole Smith Unit 350 Legion Auxiliary, and area school children will be out at local businesses offering to exchange poppies for a donation.
Red crepe paper poppies are constructed by veterans, the very group who will benefit from their sale.  According to the American Legion Auxiliary veterans benefit from the project by earning a small wage for their efforts as well as participating in a physical and mental activity that can be therapeutic. Money generated by their distribution also goes back to the group.
“The distribution of poppies is a way to say thank you to the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice,” Medlin said.  “We’re asking everyone to wear a poppy, to represent all those boys who were killed.”
She explained that the group first became associated with the poppy as a symbol for young men who gave their lives during World War I – pointing to a poem by Lt. Col. John McCrae, “In Flanders Fields.  McCrae wrote the poem as a tribute to his friend who was killed in action as he prepared to offer the eulogy.  The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary adopted the flower in 1923.
While Spring Hill residents are generally supportive of Auxiliary, from page 1
veteran’s causes, Medlin said that people in younger generations might not understand the purpose of the poppies.
The ladies of the Auxiliary who work tirelessly to aide veterans are happy to point out the significance.
“There are a lot of people who don’t understand it, if they’ll stop long enough to listen I’ll explain it to them,” Medlin said.  “They are over there fighting for our freedom, how could we not support them?  Of anyone you would want to give to, I can’t imagine a better project than the veterans.”
The Auxiliary will sell the poppies on Saturday, May 21 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at various businesses around the Spring Hill community.
In Flanders Fields
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.