The poppy’s use as a memorial flower has been a symbol for American war dead since shortly after World War I, according to information posted on an American Legion website.
The red blossom gained international acceptance after returning servicemen spoke of wild poppies that grew near devastated battlefields in France and Flanders where their comrades fought and died.
The first poppies worn in honor of the fallen occurred on Nov. 9, 1918, in New York City, an idea proposed by Moina Michael, a VFW auxiliary member from Kansas City.
And members of the Grant Farmer Post VFW Ladies Auxiliary in Walla Walla earned recognition for a display that incorporates the bloom.
It came when Veterans of Foreign Wars and members of their associated auxiliaries met for their 89th VFW Department of Washington convention in Yakima June 5-7 and came home winners.
Seven members from Grant Farmer Post VFW Ladies Auxiliary in Walla Walla attended, said member Linda McBride in a release. She was joined by Paulette Rivera, incoming District 10 president, Shannon Kilness, Sherrie Moore, Connie Johnson, Carolyn Grassi Marr and Barbara McDonald.
The auxiliary received several certificates, including a Division 4 first-place overall award for its memorial-themed poppy display, designed by Nancy Doyle. She incorporated 220 poppies and a lone soldier honoring a fallen comrade in the approximately 12-inch by 18-inch arrangement.
The VFW Auxiliary Department of Washington has 17 Districts. Auxiliaries in each district were urged to create a patriotic poppy display of varying themes for the state convention, Linda said.
Grant Farmer VFW Auxiliary’s poppy display will be featured at the VFW’s 114th national convention in Louisville, Ky.
The American Legion in 1920 had named the poppy its official memorial flower.
The poppy was adopted as the memorial flower at the American Legion Auxiliary’s first national convention in 1921. It also decorated Moina with the American Legion Auxiliary Distinguished Service Medal for originating the idea.
The Auxiliary’s resolutions encouraged all citizens to wear a poppy on Memorial Day. It also decided to sell poppies to fund relief work for living and disabled veterans.
Around that time the poppy also became the memorial flower of the British Legion and other American veterans’ organizations adopted the poppy. Nationwide distribution of memorial poppies was begun by the American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary in 1921.
Silk poppies made in France by French widows and orphans were the first used. The first American poppies were produced by veterans in Minnesota hospitals; this work has been expanded to more that 80 hospitals where disabled veterans in 40 different states make and supply the national needs.
The American Legion Auxiliary took over managing the poppy program in 1924. During the 1970s in Oklahoma the program became the responsibility of the American Legion.
“Wearing the poppy was our nation’s annual tribute to our fallen comrades. The distribution and sales of the poppy has resulted in a large portion of the relief and welfare funds of both organizations. Presently, approximately more that 25 million Americans wear poppies as a tribute to our war dead. Their annual contributions account for nearly $2 million for the rehabilitation and well-being of disabled veterans nationwide.”
Known as Buddy Poppies since 1924, they are assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA hospitals, according to the VFW, and given in exchange for a contribution.
Blue Mountain Chapter 258 Pheasants Forever sent two of its members to the 2013 Focus on Forever conference at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, Colo., co-sonsored by Cabela’s. The birding groups’ motto is “No Child Left Indoors.”
Dan Eveland (my husband) and Irving Park said Pheasants Forever, Quail Forever and Colorado Parks & Wildlife co-sponsored the June 7-9 event that is geared to training youths in outdoor sporting activities — not just birding, but courses that focus on marksmanship, the use of air rifles and shotguns, cast-iron cookery and indoor range shooting.
Dan took an invitation-only young guns course for chapters that have active youth programs. Locally BMPF 258 has done special youth hunts for quail and pheasants in September, when Washington state has an early season for kids 9-16 years old. The Walla Walla chapter was the only one invited from the Northwest, Dan said.
“We always provide a mentored, guided hunt to take kids to feel-free-to-hunt places where birds are released to guarantee availability.”
The BMPF chapter garnered an invitation to the course because “we’re doing youth hunts and habitat work. Our (fundraising) banquet is very successful every year; we send in all reports to the national office consistently; we have a good core of volunteers who run the program and national has noticed all those things,” Dan said.
Club president Jim Sonne and Gene Weinmaster, local PF youth chairman, are “a big reason why the chapter is what it is,” Dan added.
The forever shooting sports national coordinator John Linquist had equipment packages donated to chapters including Walla Walla’s, that feature rifles, shotguns and air rifles, a clay launcher and various other supplies and accoutrements, sponsored by Midway USA, its founder Larry Potterfield and wife Brenda Potterfield, who co-founded Midway USA Foundation.
“Pheasants Forever is about habitat and restoration, and teaming up with organizations to educate youths about outdoor activities and facilitate their involvement and connection to habitat restoration. Hunting pheasants is just one aspect. Other things are more important, but we all love dogs and hunting,” Dan said.
In fact Dan added that “the average PF-QF volunteer is male, 54, drives a pickup and has two dogs. I almost fell out of my chair.” He heard these statistics while in the young guns course, and they fit him to a tee.
As part of fundraising for its conservation programs, the group hosted a booth in mid-June at Dayton’s All Wheels Weekend as well as at Fourth of July in the Park in Walla Walla. They are selling raffle tickets for a Honda scooter and a Cast and Blast hunting/fishing trip to Hells Canyon.
Several students from the Union-Bulletin circulation area have been named to the dean’s list at the University of Washington for winter quarter.
To qualify, a student must have completed at least 12 graded credits and have a grade point average of at least 3.50.
College Place: Chinonso Chidi Opara, senior.
Dayton: Christian Garcia, sophomore; David William III Phillips, senior; Keisha Marie Phillips, freshman.
Walla Walla: Seth Franklin Hampson, Reanna Lee Hicks, Casey Jaye Hutchinson, Margaret Simone Kammer, Qianying Lin, Peter Gerrit Vander Griend, seniors; Yuridia Cobian Elizabeth Pedroza, Noe Quezada, Olivia Montooth Welker, juniors; Kyle Martin Lindgren, Dylan Jay Locati, Joel Phillip McClure, Michael William Pontarolo, sophomores; Wylie David Hampson, Karri Alice Mickelson, freshmen.
Chris Connerly with Altrusa International Club of Walla Walla was installed as governor of the organization’s District 12.
Her installation came during District 12’s 58th annual conference May 17-19 at Red Lion Hotel Kennewick. The theme was “Cruising with Altrusa.”
As governor, she will provide the nearly 800 District 12 members with guidance, support, direction, knowledge and enthusiasm, she said in a release.
Her biennium theme is “Altrusa ... Lighting the Way through Literacy and Leadership!”
Many may remember when George F. Quiggle played slow-pitch softball locally for the Hamm’s Beer, Budweiser/Stone Hut and Pastime Café teams.
The former Walla Wallan will be inducted into the Inland Empire Softball Hall of Fame on Saturday in Spokane.
During the 1980s, George played slow pitch here and traveled to tournaments throughout the Northwest.
Since then, his individual and team successes have included regional and national all-star selections, and two Western National, U.S. National and world championships.
The psychology associate at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center in Connell is approaching retirement at age 65.
He said it will take a significant injury to keep him out of the senior softball lineup.
Area resident Alvaro Lamprea, a DUI victim, came up with the idea to hold a Walla Walla Walks Against Drunk Driving to raise awareness and provide a positive outcome to a tragic event. A drunken driver hit pedestrian Alvaro, and caused major life-threatening injuries on July 11, 2010, on Highway 97 near Moro, Ore., according to an Oregon State Police release.
Proceeds from the second annual Walla Walla Walks at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 14 will benefit local DUI victims and provide youth prevention programs, according to a release from event organizer Nancy McClenny-Walters, also Target Zero manager with the Walla Walla County Traffic Safety Task Force.
“Walla Walla Walks Against Drunk Driving is not only a great opportunity to walk for a cause, but a chance for families, businesses or service clubs to put together a team and walk or run together,” she said
Additional program sponsors and volunteers are still being sought. Deadline for sponsors to have the business name on the runner shirts is July 20.
WWCTSTF and Walla Walla Area Crime Watch are co-sponsoring the event.
“We were very pleased with our initial run last year. We had 116 register for the event. We would like to top that number this year so in an effort to increase participation, we have added a 10K run to the 1-mile walk and a 5K run/walk,” she said. Event finishers will receive a participation ribbon and top finisher category awards will be presented this time. Families of DUI collision victims will be recognized at the awards event following the races, she said.
Entry forms and course maps are available on the Walla Walla Area Crime Watch website ,www.wwacw.com or contact Nancy at 524-2936 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For additional information on sponsorships or to volunteer, contact Nancy. A volunteer meeting will be 5 p.m. July 17 at the Walla Walla County Community Services Building, 1520 Kelly Place.
Etcetera appears in daily and Sunday editions. Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8313.