LAKE VILLAGE – American Legion Station 375 in Lake Village hosted a Veterans Day salute and commemoration ceremony at the Lake Township Volunteer Fire Department.
At 11 a.m., the bells of the Presbyterian Church in Lake Village rang 21 times, resulting in a minute of silence before the ceremony began.
They opened the ceremony with a prayer, led by Steve Sharp, the chaplain of Station 375, acknowledging the lives lost in the “sacrifice for a better world”. He then expressed his hope for a peaceful world supported by law and ethics.
Following this opening reflection, Post 375 Warrant Officer Gus Ellicott spoke about the nature of the ceremony and its purpose, commemorating the service of veterans of all wars.
“We remember how men and women put aside their civilian activities to serve the cause of our nation, defend the freedom of mankind and preserve our precious American heritage,” he said. “We recognize the service rendered to our country and its cause does not end with the termination of our service. We continue our efforts for world peace with a feeling of deep gratitude to God and to the men and women who gave their lives for the noblest of causes. “
Ellicott then read an article written by Michael Powers in his book Heart Touchers: Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter. The article detailed an encounter with James Bradley, the son of World War II veteran John Bradley, who was considered at the time to be one of the figures in Joe Rosenthal’s original photo of Iwo Jima.
The identification of the misnamed soldier was corrected as Franklin Sousley in 2016, following several investigations into other photographs taken at the time.
The article reflected the ages of the boys who fought in Iwo Jima, the oldest of six appearing at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington, DC, Sergeant Mike Strank, who was 25 when he was killed in action .
After completing this article, Sergeant-at-Arms Bedford Hyde led the members outside, where they fired a 21-gun salute, followed by a performance of “Taps” by Bob Gonczy.