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American Legion to take donations and distribute poppies around Lansing this weekend

Post 697 prepares for National Poppy Day next week by collecting donations and handing out poppies on Friday and Saturday

LANSING, Ill. (May 18, 2023) – Veterans and supporters of American Legion Post 697 in Lansing will be around the village on Friday, May 19, and Saturday, May 20, collecting donations and distributing poppy flowers ahead of National Poppy Day on Friday, May 26.

Led by the American Legion Auxiliary, donations and distribution of the fabric flowers will take place throughout the day on Friday and Saturday at various times at the following locations:

  • Corner of Ridge Road and Burnham Avenue
  • Corner of Ridge Road and Wentworth Avenue
  • Outside of Ace Hardware (3455 Ridge Road)
  • Outside of Lansing Post Office (18125 Roy Street)
  • Outside of Calumet Bakery (18349 Torrence Avenue)

Donations received will be used by the American Legion family of organizations for programs that support veterans, the military community, and their families.

According to, Poppy Day occurs on the Friday before Memorial Day each year. The website says the day “reminds Americans of the sacrifices made by our veterans while protecting our freedoms,” and encourages the public to “wear a poppy to honor those who have worn our nation’s uniform.”

History of poppies

According to, amid the landscape desolation caused by World War I, one plant that seemed to thrive was the Flanders Poppy. A field of red poppies was the inspiration for a poem written by a Canadian doctor, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae:


In 1920, the poppy became the official flower of the American Legion to memorialize the soldiers who died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of the Legion.

American Legion Post 697 is located at 18255 Grant Street in Lansing.


Josh Bootsma
Josh Bootsma
Josh is Managing Editor at The Lansing Journal and believes in the power and purpose of community news. He covers any local topics—from village government to theatre, from business openings to migratory birds.