Every year around Memorial Day, I see more flags swirling on flag poles, posted at cemeteries and grave sites planted with flowers. But this year is going to be different. The state of Michigan is under quarantine. What does this mean? There will be no ceremony in Imlay City at the corner of Fourth Street and Almont Avenue because it’s not safe. No school band to follow the honor guards. No speeches. No listing of fallen veterans and no playing of Taps.
This year, 2020, will mark the 50th year for one veteran. He will be there. He will salute the dead and say a poem somewhere. Why? Because he made a promise to himself when returning from Vietnam that he would honor his friends who did not return. A promise is a promise.
The quarantine also means no Poppy Days. No one will be wearing the poppy in remembrance of our veterans. The means the VFW and American Legion Poppy groups will not be seen on corners collecting donations for the poppies. It means the funds that are received from the donations will be zero. We hope to be out in November for the remembrance of Veterans Day.
Please give generously when you see the volunteers with a canister of poppies. All donations go back to helping veterans. It could be handmade lap throws, material and batting for quilted throws, wheelchair and walker bags, toiletries, stocking caps and our year-long sock collection. We also purchase clothing for the veterans in veteran homes in Michigan, both male and female.
Every bit of change that goes into the canister for a poppy will help our veteran.
We are in this together and together we will survive and be stronger. Our freedom is not free.
—Members of the American Legion Auxiliary, Imlay City Post #135