Friday, November 10, 2017

"Books for the Blind" program honors World War I veterans

In 1930, the "Books for the Blind" program was established within the Library of Congress to provide library service to wounded U.S. veterans returning from World War I. To this day, libraries for the blind and physically handicapped across the country still give veterans priority in their service.

The Tennessee Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped honors patrons who are veterans each year by sending them a card thanking them for their service, designed by art students at the Tennessee School for the Blind. This year's card recognizes the 100th anniversary of the World War I by using the image of the red poppy.

Traditionally, according to the Smithsonian, poppy seeds need light to grow, so when they’re buried in the earth, they can lay dormant for 80 years or even longer by some accounts, without blooming. Once soil is disturbed and the seeds come to light, poppies nobody knew existed can then bloom. This happened in Flanders Field, Belgium, after a particularly fierce World War I battle and poppies have been worn in remembrance of a war that, overall, resulted in more than 38 million casualties.

The Tennessee State Library and Archives is a division of the Office of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett

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