Doing Their Part for Veteran’s Day

Enjoying the Food and Hospitality

Enjoying the Food and Hospitality

Banks and some civic offices were closed Tuesday, November 11, for Veteran’s Day throughout Lamar, and American flags were observed lining Main Street.

Burgers and Hot Dogs on the Grill.  Keep 'em Coming, Ken!

Burgers and Hot Dogs on the Grill. Keep ’em Coming, Ken!

Several groups were doing their part to observe a salute to area veterans and active military members in Lamar for their service to their country. The Lamar Eagles Lodge offered a free hamburger or hot dog meal to veterans between noon and 2pm.  A traditional 21 gun salute was conducted at high noon in honor of all veterans, fired by the American Legion and VFW Color Guard.

Following the Honor Guard salute, Eagles and Auxiliary members rolled out the red carpet and plenty of food for veterans and citizens. Hamburgers and hot dogs off the grill, and several tables filled with salads and desserts were brought out for the afternoon appreciation meal.  There was a healthy turnout with servings continuing through the early afternoon.  No one left their table hungry.

Older residents may recall Buddy Poppies, artificial flowers, created by VFW members and sold to help raise funds for the VWF projects benefiting veterans. Those poppies were offered by Mary Torres and Angie Martinez at the Brew Unto Others coffee shop on South Main Street in Lamar on Tuesday.  Both ladies belong to both auxiliaries of the VFW and American Legion.

Mary and Angie at Brew Unto Others

Mary and Angie at Brew Unto Others

“The poppies came from that WWI poem, when the author noted the field of poppies growing over graves,” Torres explained. She was referring to the poem and the poppy movement inspired by Canadian Army Colonel John McCrae’s, “In Flanders Field”, written to honor a fallen friend in 1915.  At first the proceeds from the sale of the real flowers went to help children in the devastated areas of France and Belgium following the First World War.  She said her group buys the poppies from the national organization and then asks for donations locally.

The VFW began the project in 1922 using poppies shipped from France, but found it was easier to use paper flowers, made by disabled veterans in hospitals and state homes. The VFW paid the veterans for their work and their sale went to help veterans on welfare or for the well being of their needy dependents or orphans of veterans.  Ventura said, “We attended a VFW organization meeting recently in Pueblo and this was suggested as a way to help raise funds.”  Some of the money will go to the national VFW home in Michigan.  “Some of our poppy money also goes into a local relief fund.”

Along with the poppy sales, Torrres and Martinez had tickets for a quilt raffle, conducted by the American Legion Auxiliary. The quilt is made from camouflaged fatigues worn by veterans serving in the Middle East conflicts.  “Ramona Torres made the quilt and she has a son-in-law and a daughter who are both in the service and are overseas right now,” she stated.  Tickets will be available up until the community drawing scheduled for December 13. “We’re going to have a combined VFW and American Legion party and have the drawing then,” she said.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: CitycommunityCountyEntertainmentEventsFeaturedLamarProwers County


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