Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, was founded as a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. The practice of decorating veterans’ graves began during the Civil War and Decoration Day was officially proclaimed by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic on May 5, 1868. Here in Mason County, members of The American Legion & Ladies Auxiliary place more than 700 American flags on the graves of Mason veterans, located in more than twenty cemeteries throughout the county. These flags wave in tribute to the brave men who have served in America’s Armed Forces.
To continue this tradition of remembering fallen heroes, The American Legion Fort Mason Post #285 invites veterans, families and friends, and the public to attend its Memorial Day Salute, at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, May 25th, at the Mason County Veterans Memorial on the Courthouse Lawn.
Mason County has given its own heroes to defend our great country. During WWII, nineteen Mason County servicemen died: Vance Allen, George B. King, Stanley Pluenneke, Jack Brown, Robert W. Schroeder, Clayton Goff, Cox Hardin (C.H.) Reeves, Homer Stengel, Herman Plumlee, Loyd Polk, Melvin Eckert, Ralph Douglas Ritter, Jack Ward Farmer, Lawrence Dickens, Walton Tartt, Douglas Reichnau, Lonnie Forriest Creech, Frank Evans, and Kenneth McLeod. And, during the Iraq War, Mason lost LCPL Matthew Puckett.
Any veteran or currently-serving military person is invited to participate in Monday’s Honor Guard. Fort Mason Post #285 is one of the few remaining American Legion posts that still uses its original issue WWI 30-06 bolt action rifles for its Honor Guard. Any veteran who would like to participate should call Mike Shanley, 347-9016, or Sterling Jordan, 347-6778.
The members of Fort Mason Post #285 & the Ladies Auxiliary encourage everyone to thank a Veteran for his or her personal sacrifices during service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Without the willingness of these individuals to go anywhere in the world in defense of our democratic way of life, none of us would be able to enjoy the freedoms that we have here in the United States of America.