Norwich Mayor Proclaims May 27, 2022 As Poppy Day
Published: May 27th, 2022
By: Sarah Genter

Norwich mayor proclaims May 27, 2022 as Poppy Day (Left) City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver proclaimed Friday, May 27, 2022 as Poppy Day in the City of Norwich, recognizing the long standing symbolism of poppies and how they honor fallen soldiers. (Submitted photo) (Right) In total, 15 children in The Place's KIDS Program participated in a poppy coloring contest put on by Marilyn Neuland and Marge Root of the Norwich American Legion Post 189 Auxiliary. (Photo by Sarah Genter)

NORWICH — City of Norwich Mayor Brian Doliver proclaimed May 27, 2022 as Poppy Day for the City of Norwich during the common council meeting held on Tuesday, May 17.

“The American Legion family has long utilized the red poppy as its official flower, symbolizing the blood shed by those who have served in our U.S. military,” read Doliver. “It is fitting that as The American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary approach their 100th anniversaries, they expand the meaning and symbolism of the poppy.”

In celebration and recognition of Poppy Day, Norwich American Legion Post 189 Auxiliary members Marilyn Neuland and Marge Root visited the children enrolled in The Place’s KIDS Program, to teach them about the history and symbolism of the poppy.

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“It’s in recognition of all the soldiers who have fallen, because over in France when the soldiers died and didn't come home, they were buried and poppies grew there, and that’s how poppy’s became popular,” explained Neuland. “The American Legion first made them a symbol, and then we did, the auxiliary.”

Their visit to The Place also included a coloring contest. Neuland and Root distributed coloring books from the Legion Auxiliary that contained a brief history of the poppy and corresponding coloring pages.

Approximately 15 kids participated in the contest by submitting one colored page for the chance to win $5 for first place, $3 for second place, and $1 for every other child. They all received handmade paper poppies and treat bags with cookies and fruit snacks from the Legion Auxiliary as well.

“We do that to let our kids know what’s going on in this world, because right now kids don’t know stuff,” said Neuland. “It’s sad to say a lot of people don’t even recognize World War II anymore. You know, everything is forgotten and our kids don’t know it.”

“And that’s part of the auxiliary,” Root added. “Community service and Americanism.”

Root and Neuland said they hope to continue the coloring contest next May, and are looking into visiting local schools as well.

Each year, American Legion Auxiliary members also handcraft crepe paper poppies to hand out in exchange for donations. Root explained that any dollar amount is accepted, “or they can drop a penny in. It all goes toward helping the vets.”

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On Poppy Day, Auxiliary members will also walk through the City of Norwich to hand out poppies and collect donations.

“Friday, another Auxiliary member and myself, if it’s not raining, we’re going to just spend an hour walking up through town,” said Neuland. “Then we’ll be giving them out at the parade, too.”

The Memorial Day parade is scheduled for Monday, May 30, beginning at 11 a.m. Participants will march down East and West Main Street to West Park, where a Memorial Day ceremony will follow.