Remember them with flowers on Veterans Day

The American Legion Auxiliary will be selling its poppies at various locations throughout Oak Harbor on Veterans Day. Courtesy Photo
Oak Harbor will be honoring veterans in many ways this Veterans’ Day. If you feel led to contribute financially, local veterans’ support organizations want to thank you face-to-face at donation sites around town. Disabled American Veterans forget-me-not volunteer fundraisers will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walmart, Ace Hardware, the Navy Exchange and Commissary, and Saar’s Marketplace, said Michelle McClain, Adjutant, DAV chapter 47. “The forget-me-not drive is one of our biggest fundraisers all year,” said McClain. The group’s tradition of distributing the little, blue forget-me-not flowers to support veterans reaches back more than 80 years, she said.
Disabled American Veterans will also be selling Forget-me-nots on Veterans Day. Courtesy photo.
“It is said to date back to World War I, when returning soldiers described blue flowers growing over the graves of comrades buried in Europe during that conflict,” said McClain. A 1915 poem, “In Flanders Fields,” is the inspiration for the red “buddy poppy” flower distributed by two other groups, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. “All the buddy poppies that the VFW offers are made by disabled and needy veterans at veterans’ hospitals and workshops,” said Joanne McDaniel, VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary president. “We want people to know that, when they donate to the buddy poppy program, they are providing money for relief funds used to help local veterans,” she said.
Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the VFW Ladies Auxiliary will be selling Buddy Poppies in front of Saar's Marketplace and Albertsons in Oak Harbor on Veterans Day. Courtesy photo
VFW post and auxiliary members will distribute buddy poppies at Saar’s Marketplace and Albertson’s on Veterans’ Day from 1 to 5 p.m., said McDaniel. The American Legion distributes their poppies twice yearly, on Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day, said Julia Dietz, president of American Legion Auxiliary Post 129. “All our poppies are handmade by disabled veterans,” said Dietz. “Contributions will go a long way toward funding services for veterans and their family members in our community,” she said. Dietz said their members will be out in force on Veterans’ Day in front of local area businesses as well.