The red poppy, or remembrance poppy, has been a symbol of lives lost to war since World War I and it plays a big part in the history of Memorial Day.
Sales of red poppies benefit veterans’ associations and fund many charities and veteran causes. The poppy is worn in many of the countries that were allies during World War I, including Great Britain, France, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. In most of those other countries, the poppy is worn on and leading up to Veterans Day.
The poppy as a symbol of war casualties started with a poem. In the spring of 1915, a Canadian artillery unit brigade surgeon named Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae saw bright red poppies blooming on the war-torn fields where so many soldiers had lost their lives, and he was moved to write “In Flanders Fields.”
VFW Post 8108 in Riverview will be hosting a car wash fundraiser and poppy sale on Saturday, August 14. “We love doing this event because it helps us raise money to help our local veterans,” said VFW Post 8108 Auxiliary President Angela Lindsey.
The car wash hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and it will take place in the parking lot of the VFW, located at 7504 Riverview Dr. in Riverview. “All donations will go to the VFW Relief Fund, whose sole purpose is to help other veterans in need,” Lindsey said. “Come see our post members get wet while taking care of your car.”
VFW Post 8108 was founded in 1995 by a small group of veterans using a pickup truck as their post. It has grown from the back of a pickup to a small room in which all post functions, both fun and business, are conducted.
As the membership expanded, the post expanded as well to include a full meeting hall, a full-sized restaurant kitchen and a full-service bar.
“We are called the ‘River Rats’ as we are located along the Alafia River and we are proud to stake the claim of the friendliest post in Florida,” Lindsey said. “We have many different vintages of veterans, from the Korean Conflict to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Men and women alike, we are all veterans and proud to serve and help each other.”
If you would like to learn more about VFW Post 8108, you can visit its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VFWFL8108.