MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The Middletown Township Committee is encouraging residents to honor the sacrifices of America’s veterans this May with by supporting Buddy Poppy Month.

The entire month of May has been proclaimed as Buddy Poppy Month in Middletown Township support of the annual sale of Buddy Poppies by Middletown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2179. The poppies are assembled by disabled veterans and the proceeds of this fundraising campaign are used exclusively for the benefit of disabled and needy veterans, and the widows and orphans of diseased veterans. The program supports veterans such as those living in the Menlo Park Veterans Facility.

The poppy’s meaning originated from a poem, In Flanders Field, written by John McCrae. The poem, which describes a battlefield of crosses dotted with red poppies, deeply touched the nation and the world, and, from that point on, poppies became known throughout the world as a memorial flower, a reminder of the lives lost in wartime. The VFW conducted its first poppy sale before Memorial Day in 1922 becoming the first veterans' organization to organize a nationwide distribution.

“We should proudly display symbols that express appreciation for the sacrifices of our veterans. They are mute evidence of our gratitude to the men and women of this country who have risked their lives in defense of the freedoms which we continue to enjoy as Americans,” said Mayor Gerard P. Scharfenberger.