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LWers make 34,000 poppies to honor vets

LWers make 34,000 poppies to honor vets LWers make 34,000 poppies to honor vets


by Emma DiMaggio

On any given Wednesday, a troupe of dedicated Leisure Worlders are hard at work in Clubhouse 1 creating small, delicate tissue-paper poppies.

The mostly female team is not part of a craft group. They make up LW’s American Legion Auxiliary. The bright red poppies they fashion year-round will be proudly displayed on the chests of veterans and their supporters on and around May 26: National Poppy Day.

The poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for the United States in all wars. It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by its veterans while protecting our freedoms.

LW poppies have been distributed to American Legion chapters across the state, with locations as close as Orange County and as far as Northern California. On May 26, a little piece of Leisure World will sit on POPPIES

34,000 chests across California. The poppies are given with the expectation of a corresponding donation to support veterans, their families and the military community.

Remembrance Day, also known as Poppy Day, has been observed since 1919. The red poppy is a symbol of both remembrance and hope for a peaceful future.

The Auxiliary promotes the poppy as a symbol of the sacrifices our military have made, a symbol to open people’s hearts and inspire them to donate.

Shortly after losing a friend in Ypres in 1915, a Canadian doctor, Lt. Colonel John Mc-Crae, was inspired by the sight of poppies growing in battlescarred fields to write his now famous poem title “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 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 bear it high. / If ye break faith with us who die / We shall not sleep, though poppies grow / In Flanders fields..”

The American Legion brought National Poppy Day to the United States by asking Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day as National Poppy Day. On May 26, people wear red poppies to honor the fallen and support those who have worn the nation’s uniform.

The group is always looking for new members. The process of making a poppy isn’t complicated: a fold here, a twist there, and a small flower blooms in hand. GRF Executive Director Jessica Sedgwick tried her hand at poppy-making in early May, and experienced poppy-crafters declared it a resounding success.

Anyone is welcome to join in poppy-making on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. in Clubhouse 1.

Jean Sudbeck teaches GRF Executive Director Jessica Sedgwick the art of making poppies.

Making poppies is simple: all it takes is tissue paper, wire,and a little finesse.

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