OTTAWA — Ten-year-old Ellianna Warren attended Monday’s Ottawa Village Council meeting wearing a sash that read “Miss Poppy” and held a basket with poppies, accepting donations that will go the American Legion Auxiliary Kernel Slusser Unit 63.
Warren, a fourth-grader at SS. Peter and Paul School, comes from a long line of family members who held the “Miss Poppy” title that is a tradition in Putnam County. Her parents are Derek and Melissa Warren. Her mother, great aunt and aunts, cousin and sister also held the title.
Warren’s great-great grandfather served in World War I, and she also has relatives who served during World War II. Her grandfather was a state commander out of Ottawa’s American Legion. She has held the title since April and will serve for a year.
The remembrance poppy is an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who died in war.
The poppies that Warren is collecting donations for were made by veterans at the Ohio Veterans Home in Sandusky.
“The veterans fought for our freedom and made sacrifices, and this is the least we can do to support them and raise as much money as needed,” Warren’s mother, Melissa, said.
Warren plans to accept donations at Ottawa businesses the weekend before Memorial Day and will also attend the Putnam County Fair in June accepting donations.
“I want to honor veterans because they do so much for us,” Warren said. “I am proud to say that I come from many generations of family who have fought for our freedom.”
She explained to the council during the meeting that the red poppy represents the blood of all those who gave their lives, the black represents the mourning of those who didn’t have their loved ones return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing.
Also during the meeting, members of American Legion Post 23 were recognized by Mayor Dean Meyer with a plaque that declares Sept. 21 and 22 as American Legion Centennial Days. The plaque stated that the legion has been a staunch advocate for veterans and their families since 1919. Nationally the American Legion organization celebrated 100 years of existence in March.
In other business, Greta Liebrecht, a fifth-grader at SS. Peter and Paul School, presented a small flag to the council that replicated last year’s winning artwork of her Arbor Day drawing. The yearly contest is put on by Ottawa’s Shade Tree Commission, and the flag will hang inside the village hall.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.