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National Poppy Day

MAY 2024


The red poppy is a nationally recognized symbol of sacrifice worn by Americans since World War I to honor those who served and died for our country in all wars.

It reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms.

History of the Poppy

From the battlefields of World War I, weary soldiers brought home the memory of a barren landscape transformed by wild poppies, red as the blood that had soaked the soil. By that miracle of nature, the spirit of their lost comrades lived on. The “Poppy” became a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war and represented the hope that none had died in vain. The American Legion Poppy Program started in 1921 and has continued to bloom for the casualties of All  Wars, its petals of paper bound together for veterans by veterans, reminding America each year that the men and women who have served and died for their country deserve to be remembered. The “Poppy”, as a memorial flower to the war dead, can be traced to a single individual, Moina Michael.

In Flander's Field

In Flanders Fields is a war poem in the form of a rondeau, written during the First World War by Canadian physician and Lt. Col. John McCrae. He was inspired to write it on May 3, 1915, after presiding over the funeral of friend and fellow soldier Alexis Helmer, who died during the Second Battle of Ypres.

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.

–Lt. Col. John McCrae

How to Donate

We will have poppies available at upcoming events, including our May Post meeting.  


Please consider a donation to Naperville Post 43 via a check or donate thru our website.


Our Post home mailing address is:


Naperville American Legion Post 43

PO Box 4

Naperville, IL  60566-0004


Please note on your check memo line that this donation is for OCW.


Or donate online: 






Prior to Covid that year’s donations exceeded $4500, and all proceeds went to the American Legion “Operation Comfort Warrior” Program.  This year we hope to do even more.  This program, OCW, was created after “9/11” to provide “comfort items” that help our wounded warriors in their recovery at VA Hospitals, but are not covered as a budget item on government spreadsheets.  For more information on “Operation Comfort Warrior”, please go to

In addition, all “OCW” administrative and marketing costs are paid from our American Legion Membership dues received, meaning that 100% of donated funds go directly to purchasing comfort items for Our Troops!!!  Operation Comfort Warriors represents your expression of gratitude to our men and women who have sacrificed to protect our freedoms!!!!

Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider a donation to this year’s Naperville “American Legion Post 43 Poppy Days”.   Every year since Post 43 has held their Poppy Days, all proceeds have always gone to support our fellow Veterans.   Several years ago, we as Post 43 decided to support the “Operation Comfort Warrior” Program and will continue.

 In addition, we will be promoting this Program at various Naperville Community Events this year.  Supporting our “Veterans in Need” has been our intent since the inception of the American Legion Poppy Program in 1921 and will continue.

                                Thanks, and stay safe- 

                                     Wayne Fischer

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What is Operation Comfort Warriors?

Operation Comfort Warriors is a program dedicated to meeting the needs of wounded, injured or ill military personnel by providing them with comfort items not usually supplied by the government. OCW ensures that patients at U.S. military hospitals and warrior transition units are given items like sweat suits, DVDs, puzzles, electronic devices, books, calling cards and more. OCW also provides larger items such as ping pong tables, entertainment centers, computers, kayaks and other recreational goods for use by wounded warriors in common areas.

For more information, please visit



Did you know?

Poppy Day is celebrated

in countries around the world.

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.

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