SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – November 11, 2020 – This Veteran’s Day, local American Legion San Luis Obispo Post 66 and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2814 generously donated American flags and poppies, iconic symbols of honor for the sacrifice of our veterans, to veterans and active duty military patients at French Hospital Medical Center. The organizations partnered to donate the items and recognize these patients during their stay in the hospital.
In all, 507 poppies were donated by the VFW Post 2814 and 130 American flags were given by the American Legion SLO Post 66 to be distributed to French Hospital Medical Center patients throughout Veteran’s Day and the days that follow.
“French Hospital Medical Center is grateful for the service and dedication of these local veterans, and all men and women across America who serve our country,” says French Hospital Medical Center President and CEO, Alan Iftiniuk. “We are incredibly appreciative of these strong community ties, and for the American Legion Post 66 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1248 to consider our hospital and patients with this great act of kindness.”
The donations will also be shared with Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Marian Regional Medical Center to distribute to veterans and active military in these facilities over the day of remembrance.
“French Hospital Medical Center has always been a great community partner, and we recognize the exceptional care they give to their patients,” says Randy Earl, Past Commander, American Legion Post 66. “Because they have given so much, we wanted to share this donation with them and also honor local veterans that have to spend this significant day in the hospital. We want them to know that we care, and that we appreciate their service.”
After World War I, poppies flourished in Europe. Scientists attributed the growth to soils in France and Belgium becoming enriched with lime from the rubble left by the war. From the dirt and mud grew a beautiful red poppy. The red poppy came to symbolize the blood shed during battle following the publication of the wartime poem “In Flanders Fields.” On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.
[Photos: Left-French Hospital Medical Center Patient Steve Rebuck Receives Flag; Right-Randy Earl, Past Commander of American Legion Post 66]
About French Hospital Medical Center
French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, California, is rated among the top hospitals in the nation. The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center provides the latest innovative cardiac and imaging technology, and is home to the Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families. French is a Dignity Health Central Coast hospital which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA, Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA, St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, CA and St. John’s Pleasant Valley in Camarillo, CA. Dignity Health Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services, including primary care offices, premier surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories, imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service.