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‘Buddy Poppies’ dispersed Saturday

On Saturday, shoppers at the two main doors of the Natchez Walmart will be greeted by members of local VFW Post 9573.

The members will be handing out artificial flowers known as “Buddy Poppies” for free. The symbolic poppy is also known as the “Remembrance poppy, it is distributed virtually worldwide to honor those who have died in the defense of their country.”

For those who desire to, a small donation would be appreciated. Please take one and remember the sacrifices so many have made.

The poppies refer to the small flowers that grew at the site of the humbled World War I battle at Flanders Belgium and were inspired the poems “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae and “We Shall Keep the Faith” By Moina Belle Michael.

In 1922 before Memorial Day the Veterans of Foreign Wars distributed the first poppies nationwide.

The collected donations are used by Post 9573 to support local veterans in distress.

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.

John McCrae

We Shall Keep the Faith

Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,

Sleep sweet — to rise anew!

We caught the torch you threw

And holding high, we keep the Faith

With All who died.

We cherish, too, the poppy red

That grows on fields where valor led;

It seems to signal to the skies

That blood of heroes never dies,

But lends a lustre to the red

Of the flower that blooms above the dead

In Flanders Fields.

And now the Torch and Poppy Red

We wear in honor of our dead.

Fear not that ye have died for naught;

We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought

In Flanders Fields.

Moina Belle Michael

John Goodrich is past commander of VFW Post 9573.