Poster contest encourages patriotism in art

Abigail Seyfang, a 6th grader with Guernsey-Sunrise High School, shows off the artwork she made January 4 inside the school’s library for the American Legion Auxiliary’s Poppy Poster Contest.

GUERNSEY – Inside the Guernsey-Sunrise High School library January 4, Abigail Seyfang devised and created an entry for the American Legion Auxiliary’s Poppy Poster contest.

Abigail was the only youth in the library between 3:30 and 5 p.m. Tuesday. Sally Mack, a former librarian for Guernsey-Sunrise, supervised the intended brainstorming session for the Auxiliary’s contest.

“I work with the American Legion as well as VFW and a number of volunteer positions, including reading down at the public library,” said Mack.

Mack has directly managed the poster contest for three years but has helped with the contest when a different Auxiliary member oversaw it.

According to Mack, any child or youth grades two through 12 can participate in the poster contest. However, there are rules that need to be followed.

“There are certain rules that are fairly basic,” said Mack. “For example, they have to have the words ‘American Legion Auxiliary’ on the front page. If they draw an American flag, it has to be accurate.”

“Those types of things, but they are not extensive. Basically, they have a picture and a saying of some type that is appropriate to the poster.”

Mack explained that the image of poppies and veterans goes back to World War One. Their modern meanings allow them to be used more broadly.

“The poppies represent the sacrifice that veterans incurred during wars,” said Mack. “It started with World War One. And the poppy posters are a way for children to voice their appreciation for that sacrifice.”

Mack is very aware of the challenges and decisions that veterans have faced. She hopes that the contest is one way for younger generations to understand what decisions are made and why.

“As a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, I am aware of the sacrifices that veterans have given for America,” said Mack.

“And I believe that that is a very important idea for children to have. They need to know.”

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