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STRASBURG -- The poppy was first chosen as The American Legion’s memorial flower at the 1921 National Convention and was worn in memory of the men who lost their lives in World War I.

A double significance was attached to the memorial poppy. Disabled veterans quickly learned to assemble poppies while growing well again.

In Illinois, The American Legion and Auxiliary are united in their efforts to help those hospitalized veterans within the state. Through the winter months, cut materials are delivered to these veterans and soon boxes of bright red poppies are ready distribution in May. 

All money taken in over expenses is returned to the veterans and their families through their service program. Each year, prior to Memorial Day, millions of Americans wear little red poppies in memory of those who have died in all wars and to assist in the rehabilitation of those veterans who are now hospitalized suffering from wounds and illness.

In order to better acquaint local communities with the purpose of “Poppy Day”, sponsored by The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary, each year school children enter posters in the “Poppy Poster Contest.”

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This year Strasburg American Legion Auxiliary Liberty Unit 289 sponsored the Poppy Poster Contest, with elementary entries received from Trinity Lutheran School in Stewardson and a 10th Grade entry from Stewardson-Strasburg High School. The first place winners in each grade category were forwarded to the department for judging.

The winners were:

  • Fourth grade: 1st place - Rachel Weaver, 2nd Place - Brody Bible, 3rd Place - Carrah Daniels
  • Fifth grade: 1st Place - Mollie Slifer, 2nd Place - Brinlie Durbin, 3rd Place - Hunter Friese
  • Sixth grade: 1st Place - Alaira Friese, 2nd Place - Brenna Musson, 3rd Place - Jackson Gurgel
  • 10th Grade: 1st Place, Austin Vonderheide.

The Strasburg American Legion Auxiliary Unit 289’s Poppy Day will be this Friday evening and Saturday morning. Volunteers will be located at the bank, post office and Marathon Station. Proceeds from Poppy Day have been used for the Honor Flight, Mattoon VA Outpatient Clinic, and Illiana VA (Danville).

For more information contact Linda D. Oakley at 217-273-2605.

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