75th Anniversary:  Our very own American Legion Post 295 is celebrating 75 years of service to our Middleburg community, Veterans and their families.   To mark this auspicious date, the Post will be offering Red poppies outside of the Middleburg Safeway on Memorial Day weekend.    Come out, get your red poppy and show your support for American Legion Post 295.   You will find the details further on in this article about how the red poppy came to mark our remembrance of our fallen heroes.

Membership/Hall Rentals:  If you are interested in joining Middleburg Post 295, please contact our current Post Commander, Mr. John Moliere via email at John.Moliere@stdcomm.com or come to one of our monthly meetings on the second Wednesday of the month at 7:00PM.  We are located on Plains Road just across from the Sporting Museum.  As a reminder to our entire community, please consider our newly renovated Patriots Hall as a venue for your future social events.   For more information on dates and fees please contact Ricky Bell at (540) 364-3550 or by email at scruffy451@aol.com.  

Donations to Assist Veterans In Need:  Lastly, together with all other Loudoun Veterans Service Organizations, American Legion Post 295 regularly assists Veterans in need.  This assistance takes varied forms including emergency funds to pay for family necessities in an emergency. If you are interested in assisting and donating to this worthy effort please contact our current Post Commander, Mr. John Moliere via email  at John.Moliere@ stdcomm.com

Memorial Day

As the weather begins to get warmer and the days get longer, we all know Memorial Day weekend must be right around the corner.  This year we celebrate Memorial Day on Monday, May, 31, 2021.  For most Americans the Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of our summer and for our children, it means the end of the school year must not be far off.   Beyond the family gatherings and the outdoor festivities, Memorial Day is a special day for most Americans as we take a moment to honor all of the U.S. military servicemen and women who gave their lives in defense of our great nation.  According to historians and other sources, the first Memorial Day was observed on May 1, 1865 by freed slaves in Charleston, South Carolina.  These African-American men, who had served in the Union Army, came together with their families to bury and honor their fellow Union soldiers.  The unofficial tradition of recognizing our fallen service personnel continued for several years after 1865.   In 1950, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution to mark Memorial Day which was followed by a law in 1968 which declared Memorial Day to occur on the final Monday in May with it becoming a federal holiday in 1971.  So, this Memorial Day, we ask you to please take a few minutes out from the festivities and family outings to remember our fallen heroes and give thanks for our freedoms and our great nation. 

The Red Poppies of Flanders Fields

Excerpted from History.com

During World War I, Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, who served as a medical officer with an Allied artillery unit, spotted a cluster of red poppies shortly after the Second Battle of Ypres. McCrae tended to the wounded from that battle including those injured by the German use of poisonous chlorine gas.  Some 87,000 Allied soldiers were killed, wounded or went missing in the battle (as well as 37,000 on the German side.)  Struck by the sight of bright red poppy blooms on the burial grounds, McCrae wrote a poem, “In Flanders Field.”   In this poem, which was published first in Great Britain, he channeled the voices of the fallen soldiers buried under those hardy red poppies.  

In the USA, a lady named Moina Michael read “In Flanders Field” in the Ladies’ Home Journal, just two days before the armistice.   She was a Professor at the University of Georgia at the time the war broke out.  Michael took a leave of absence to volunteer at the New York headquarters of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA), which trained and sponsored workers overseas. 

As a sign of this faith, and a remembrance of the sacrifices of Flanders Field, Michael vowed to always wear a red poppy; she found an initial batch of red fabric blooms for herself and her colleagues at a department store. After the war ended, she returned to the university town of Athens, and came up with the idea of making and selling red silk poppies to raise money to support returning veterans. 

Michael’s campaign to create a national symbol for remembrance didn’t get very far at first. But in mid-1920, she managed to get Georgia’s branch of the American Legion, a veteran’s group, to adopt the poppy as its symbol. Soon after that, the National American Legion voted to use the poppy as the official U.S. national emblem of remembrance when its members convened in Cleveland in September 1920. 

Middleburg’s American Legion Post 295 is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary of service to our community, to our Veterans and to their families.  Come out and support our American Legion Post on this Memorial Day weekend as members of the post offer red poppies to members of our community outside of the Middleburg Safeway.  These red poppies are offered by American Legion Post 295 in remembrance of all our fallen heroes.  Lastly, do not forget to wear your poppy proudly!