THE BUDDY POPPY. The Buddy Poppy, unlike the California State Flower, is red. Since 1915, during WWI, the red poppy has grown wild on the battlefields of France, Belgium and the Turkish battlefields on the peninsula of Gallipoli. In November of 1919, Miss Monia Belle Michael, an American Women, on duty at the YMCA Overseas War Secretaries’ Headquarters in New York, read Canadian Army, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae’s poem entitled "In Flanders Field”, also known as "We Shall Not Sleep”. On that day she vowed always to wear a red poppy of Flanders Field as a sign of remembrance. Also on that day Monia wrote a poem entitled, "We Shall Keep the Faith”. Since 1920 the red Memorial Poppy has been known as the United States’ National Emblem of Remembrance.
From 1919 until 1922, the red poppy was used by many countries as a fundraiser for veterans. In 1923 The Veterans of Foreign Wars agreed American Veterans of the Great War could also benefit from making and selling the red Memorial Poppy. In February 1924, the name "BUDDY POPPY” was registered as a U.S. Patent. In May 1924, a certificate was issued to grant trademark rights to the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the manufacture of genuine "Buddy Poppies” . Since that time, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars have distributed Buddy Poppies, usually on Armistice Day, now known as Memorial Day in May and on Veterans Day in November.
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
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.
WE SHALL KEEP THE FAITH
Oh! You who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet - to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
and holding high, we keep the Faith
with All who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
that grows on fields where valor led;
it seems to signal to the skies
that blood of heroes never dies,
but lends a luster to the red
of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the Torch and Poppy Red
we wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
we’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.
In Flanders Fields we fought
ORDERING BUDDY POPPIES
•Buddy Poppy orders for both the Comrades and the Auxiliary are made through the Department of California using the Buddy Poppy Order Form (form 3a – Rev. 6/19) – PLEASE utilize that form – older forms will not be accepted and be returned to the post. The cost of the poppies is $60 per 500 poppies and $120 per 1000 poppies. DO NOT order poppies through another state – you cannot be given credit on the status report if Department Headquarters does not know about it.
•Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery. Be advised that Buddy Poppy facilities are closed beginning mid-November through December. Be sure that you allow sufficient lead time for your order.
•Other Poppy supplies such as cans and boards need to be ordered directly from the National Headquarters Emblem and Supply Department.
•All orders purchased July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, shall be credited to the 2019-2020 operational year for All-American and All-State purposes.
•Buddy Poppies are packaged in increments of 500, 1000, or 2000. Orders for amounts other than the packaged amount will be shipped in the next higher increment and invoiced accordingly.
•All orders for Buddy Poppies must have a street address for delivery. All orders are shipped via UPS, and UPS will not deliver to a Post Office Box.
•Proceeds from the purchase of Buddy Poppies go to the Service Fund, a fund that supports our Veterans and active duty military members.
BUDDY POPPY PURCHASING GOAL. This year’s expected goal is for each Post to purchase ten (10) poppies per member, based upon the Post membership as of June 30, 2019 + 500 poppies. Because poppies are packaged at the factory in lots of 500, 1000, and 2000 for cost effective shipping, it is incumbent upon Post Commanders/Quartermasters to round their order to the closest increment of 500.
DISPLAYS. Posts/Auxiliary participating in the Buddy Poppy Display Contest at the Department of California Convention must notify the Department Buddy Poppy Chair by April 1, 2020. Adequate space for entries must be requested through the Convention Committee Chair. Approximate size and weight of the Buddy Poppy Display will be helpful.
HOW TO REPORT. Posts will receive credit for purchasing Buddy Poppies when your purchase form 3a is received and successfully processed by Department Headquarters.
AWARDS. The application for awards for participation of the distribution of Buddy Poppies must be submitted to the Department Buddy Poppy Chairman no later than April 15, 2020. Applications for individual awards for Post and Auxiliary members received after the deadline will be applied to the next VFW years awards.
National Buddy Poppy Contest rules will apply for all category entries.