By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
Members of the “Honor Our Heroes” committee at Prince of Peace Catholic Community in Plano are hoping to encourage people to show their appreciation for all military members — past and present — with a new project at the parish.
The committee launched its inaugural Poppy Day distribution the weekend of May 19-20, as members of the Knights of Columbus assisted committee members in handing out red poppies and bookmarks to parishioners after all Masses.
“We are very proud to have been a part of this national effort to increase awareness and respect as well to encourage community participation on National Poppy Day, which is celebrated May 25,” said Susie Anderssen, who co-chairs the Prince of Peace committee with Marianna Thiebaud and Claudia Jennings. “National Poppy Day is a day of remembrance. It is a reminder to honor and remember those in the military who died in service of our country. It is a day to stop and thank God for those who have paid the price for our freedom and for those who risk their lives every day to keep peace around the world.”
Anderssen said each poppy was handmade by a veteran and that those who receive them are not only encouraged to wear them on May 25, but also throughout the Memorial Day weekend.
In addition to handing out poppies at Masses, the committee presented students at Prince of Peace Catholic School with a bookmark and teachers with Poppy Day fact sheets.
With the effort, Anderssen said the committee not only aimed to raise awareness about National Poppy Day, but also is seeking to honor all those who have served in the military.
“People should wear their poppies as a tribute to the sacrifices made by our military in service to our nation,” said Anderssen, who also encouraged people to tell everyone why they are wearing poppies. “We enjoy a lot of freedom. Someone paid the price for those freedoms we enjoy. The men and women in our military pay that price. We should all wear a poppy to thank our veterans and those currently serving and to show our appreciation for what they do.”
Anderssen said the “Honor Our Heroes” committee also used the opportunity to raise funds for its continued mission, including a drive to collect and provide care packages to deployed military overseas in September.
The committee’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by the parish’s pastor.
“The phrase you sometimes hear is ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ ” Father Tom Cloherty said. “These three ladies have done an incredible job to make sure that those who have given the fullest measure of devotion remain not only in our minds but also even more so in our hearts for the service they have rendered in the cause of peace not only here in the United States but also throughout the world.”