Wear poppies to honor the fallen
By American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt
During this special month of May, we take time to honor and remember those who never came home. For Medal of Honor recipient Florent “Flo” Groberg, his thoughts turn to Command Sgt. Maj. Kevin Griffin, Maj. Thomas Kennedy, Maj. Walter Gray and Ragaei Abdelfattah, a volunteer with the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Groberg received the Medal of Honor for intercepting a suicide bomber in Afghanistan on Aug. 8, 2012, an attack that killed those four men.
“For the rest of my life, I made a dedication that I would live for them,” Groberg said. “I would live for their families. I would wake up every single day and do whatever I can to earn that right to be on this earth, that I earn the right to wear this medal around my neck that does not belong to me. It belongs to my brothers who never came home. It belongs to their families. It belongs to you. It belongs to the United States of America, our flag and every individual – military and otherwise – who put their lives on the line.”
One does not have to wear the nation’s highest award for valor to properly honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice so others could live in freedom. In fact, the entire American Legion Family is asking all Americans to honor these heroes on National Poppy Day, May 26, 2017.
We encourage all veterans, servicemembers and patriotic citizens to wear or display a poppy on National Poppy Day to remember our fallen and support the living. National Poppy Day, of which the Boeing Co. is a premier sponsor this year, broadens a tradition that began in 1920, when the poppy became an official flower of the Legion Family.
Florent Groberg will be wearing a poppy to honor his friends. I will be wearing one to honor some heroes who are special to me. Who will you honor by wearing a poppy?