Cadence Carter, a 7th grader at Granby Middle School, created a poster for the annual Poppy Poster Contest sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary and won both local, district and state honors.

On the local level, the contest was sponsored by the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 163 in Neosho.

Carter won the contest for Unit 163, then for the seven counties in Southwest Missouri that comprise District 15, and then became the Class III Department of Missouri winner in the competition.

Carter was presented a certificate and a monetary award during a Veteran Day assembly last week at her school. Ellen Arnce, Neosho, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 163, made the presentation.

The American Legion Auxiliary Poppy Program has used the symbol of a red poppy to symbolize the sacrifices made by veterans since it began in 1921. The red crepe paper poppies are still handmade by veterans and are distributed nationwide in exchange for donations that go to disabled and hospitalized veterans.

The inspiration for the use of red poppies comes from a poem written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a Canadian soldier, doctor, poem and artist who died of pneumonia near the end of World War I. His poem, “In Flanders Field”, described the bright red poppies growing in the cemetery where many of the war dead were laid to rest.

“In Flanders Field, the poppies grow, between the crosses row on row that mark our place”, are the opening lines of the well-known poem.

The Poppy Program continues to raise community awareness and instill respect for veterans.