Longtime Gretna American Legion Auxiliary member 86-year-old Kathy Iske gives a handmade poppy to Jessica Salvatore at Pinnacle Bank on May 21. The bank has been Iske’s post for years, even in less than ideal weather, as the ALA’s motto is “service not self.” During the annual Armed Forces Day event, the Gretna ALA raised $762.10 for its Poppy Fund. All donations provide support to veterans, active duty military and their families. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed by those who fought and those who continue to fight for our country following World War I. It was popularized by the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” Written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, M.D., while serving on the front line in World War I, the poem honors soldiers killed in battle. In 1920, the poppy became the memorial flower of The American Legion Family.