Get in the Veterans Day spirit with the Buddy Poppy

By: Rachel Zirin, Senior Reporter
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Marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, Folsom will be celebrating Veterans Day with an annual parade through Folsom, but just a weekend prior, Nov. 3-4, Folsom Post 6604 of the VFW will be giving out the Buddy Poppy for donations.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Walmart, Mary’s Gold Miner Café on E. Bidwell Street, Safeway on Prairie City Road, the community will be able to learn more and receive a red poppy, which symbolizes the remembrance for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“The Buddy Poppy originates from the wild red poppy that grows in Europe, especially on Flanders Field,” said Jim Bloodworth, Buddy Poppy chairman from VFW Post 6604. “Flanders Field was a major battle ground from World War I located between France and Belgium.”

Bloodworth said there was a poem written about the wild poppies coming up to the graves and how people started thinking of it as remembrance.

“In Flanders Field the poppies blow, between the crosses, row on row…” begins the poem written by Canadian soldier John McCrae.

Bloodworth has made it his goal to bring more awareness and understanding of the Buddy Poppy and what it stands for. In recent years, he hasn’t disappointed. Each year during the Veterans Day Parade, the VFW gives out Buddy Poppies to everyone, as well as the Folsom Pro Rodeo. This year, they gave out 6,000 poppies and collected $5,500 in donations.

The program has raised millions of dollars nationally in support of veterans and is always put on the weekend before Veterans Day to get people into the patriotic spirit.

During the parade, Bloodworth and his volunteers will be dressed in yellow aprons giving out the Buddy Poppy throughout.

“Donations are not required, but they go to needy veterans and their families,” he said.

Bloodworth is always looking for volunteers. If you are interested, contact him at 916-673-8444.