May 2019 Post Talk

Post Talk
By Glenn Pierce, Adjutant

Meeting Schedule:

  • Bar Finance & Accounting May 6th at 6:00 pm
  • Membership Meeting May 14th at 7:00 pm
  • SAL Meeting May 21st at 6:00 pm
  • Auxiliary Meeting May 14th at 7:30 pm

Rick Hals, Commander - We have completed the down stairs tiling and will finish the kitchen and mini bar tiling after midsummer, a big thank you to all helped get the job done. The VFW will be having a pork chop dinner on May 18th with a drawing, hope to see you there. Memorial Day is fast approaching; the times for the various cemeteries will be in local papers. Midsummer celebration is coming up fast, this year festivities will begin on June 20th with the parade on Sunday the 23rd. A reminder, that all advanced ticket sales go directly to the Legion, so pass the word to everyone to buy their tickets at any of the locations that will be posted in the local papers. One last note, thank a veteran whenever you can.

Michelle Still, Auxiliary President - We are excited to have Allie Petrik represent our unit at Girls State, and in case Allie is unable to attend, the alternate is Violet Schneider. Allie will have a great learning experience and she will build many new friendships. Congratulations to these outstanding young ladies who want to learn more about government and leadership. National Poppy Day is the Friday before Memorial Day, May 24th. The poppy is a symbol of the sacrifice of lives in war and represents the hope that none died in vain. That's why we wear the poppy, to honor our living veterans and those who lost their lives. Veterans wear your poppies with pride and know we are grateful for your service. All donations from poppy distribution go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans in our communities. Save your poppies and wear them again on Veterans Day.

North Branch American Legion Riders (NBALR) - Should be a great year, It’s been a long hard winter for the motorcycle community in general and the North Branch American Legion Riders specifically. Mother Nature has been doing it’s normal Spring routine of reaching out with riding weather and then slapping us with cold and rain.

The NBALR began the year with their Spring Veteran’s Fundraiser to help fund this year’s projects:

  • We have designated $2000 for four $500 Scholarships to the graduating students of North Branch High school
  • Preparations for this summer’s activities are in the works
  • NBALR is looking forward to helping local veterans in need of assistance

Orv Otterness, Post Service Officer - The Poppy program, when it came to the attention of the organization, was made a program of the National organization of the American Legion. That would be shortly after World War I. The American Legion, after setting the program up, asked the American Legion Auxiliary to take the program as one of theirs to work, However, The National organization of the American Legion retained the right to supervise and make the rules for the distribution of the memorial poppy. For most of the previous years the poppy funds were used only for veterans. In recent years a change was made to include the Veterans families. A good change. The volunteers who distribute poppies would like you to wear a poppy during the month of May in remembrance. They do NOT sell poppies: they ask for a donation. Every cent of the donation is used for our veterans and poppy programs. In our community poppy funds are used for veterans in our Care facilities, in contributions to the VA and Veterans Homes facilities in providing Christmas gifts and spending money to the residents. Keep that in mind when you make your donations. We are organized as an American Legion Family to care for and support our Veterans.

Randy Koivisto, 1st Vice Commander - Post 85 awarded member Shannon Stepp for his 45 years of service, at the April membership meeting. Also on hand was his grandson, Ryan Stephens, an active member of the Minnesota Army National Guard.
Presenting the award was Commander Rick Hals.


May 24, 2019

Glenn Pierce, Adjutant - The Poppy Story

After World War I, the poppy flourished in Europe. Scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the
blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem was written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D. while serving on the front lines.

On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.

Led by the American Legion Auxiliary, each year members of The American Legion Family distribute poppies with a request that the person receiving the flower make a donation to support the future of veterans, active-duty military personnel and their families with medical and financial needs.

Poppy Day is celebrated in countries around the world. The American Legion brought National Poppy Day® to the United States by asking Congress to designate the Friday before Memorial Day, as National Poppy Day. On May 24, wear a red poppy to honor the fallen and support the living who have worn our nation's uniform.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row.
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

North Branch Post 85 2019 Honor Guard Memorial Day Schedule

  • Kost Cemetery 8:00 AM
  • Salem Lutheran Cemetery 9:10 AM
  • West Oxford Cemetery 9:30 AM
  • St. John’s Cemetery Weber 10:00 AM
  • Spring Lake Lutheran Cemetery 10:30 AM
  • North Branch 11:30 AM

A speech and names will be read for all the departed of North Branch at the Lutheran Cemetery