CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — Clearfield Mayor Mason Strouse has proclaimed May 13 and 14 as “Poppy Days” and asks all residents and visitors to wear a memorial poppy to pay tribute to our veterans.

At the end of World War I, The American Legion adopted the poppy as a symbol of freedom and the blood sacrificed by troops in wartime, according to the proclamation. It comes from the poem “In Flanders Fields” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, which begins by reading:

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

The poem refers to the poppies that sprang up on the churned earth of battlefields across Belgium and France where soldiers died fighting. Following the war, these flowers flourished in Europe and became the symbol for those who fell in battle.

Members of the Clearfield VFW Auxiliary will be handing out poppies and collecting donations at JG Food Warehouse, Grice Gun Shop and Tractor Supply during the day of May 13 and 14. They will also be at Burger King in Clearfield on May 18 from 4 to 8 p.m. where a percentage of all receipts collected will benefit the VFW. Additionally, Dutch Pantry in Clearfield is selling poppy die cuts until May 15 to benefit the VFW.

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All proceeds from the Poppy Days campaign are used to aid local veterans and their families at different times throughout the year. This includes veterans living in local nursing homes.