American Legion’s Poppy Girl looks forward to busy weekend

Keona Gran is this year
Keona Gran is this year's Poppy Girl.
— image credit: Michaela Marx Wheatley

She’s only 5, but Keona Gran has a very important job this Memorial Day weekend.

Keona has been chosen to be the American Legion Auxiliary’s Poppy Girl and she’ll assist the American Legion members in placing flags on veterans’ graves and lay down a poppy wreath at the cemeteries in Bayview and Langley.

She wasn’t quite sure what exactly her job would be when asked, but she was excited to do it.

“I’ll march with them to the service,” she said.

When she is not busy with her Poppy Girl duties, Keona likes playing with her friends, kicking a soccer ball and, lately, she’s been an aspiring ballerina.

“I am taking dance classes this summer,” she said.

The Poppy Girl is chosen by the auxiliary. Usually a member will nominate a daughter, granddaughter or other relative for the honor, explained auxiliary member Sue Koleada.

“This year’s Poppy Girl is the granddaughter of our longtime member Helen Endres, who also serves as our auxiliary chaplain,” she said.

Keona, backed up by her friends at the American Legion and auxiliary, will place flags and poppies on graves at both the Langley and Bayview cemeteries today.

They’ll also plan to be at Casey’s Red Apple at Bayview from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. over the weekend.

There is a ceremony at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day at the Bayview Cemetery.

The post, auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion, along with the Poppy Girl, the color guard and the speakers, march to the cemetery and will be part of the ceremony.

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