SPRINGFIELD – Soldiers, sailors and Marines. Veterans of every conflict from World War II to the Cold War, Vietnam to Afghanistan.
Tucker A. Gregoire American Legion Post 258 paused on Sunday to remember them.
Every two to three years, the post holds a ceremony to honor post members who have passed away, said Gene Glascock, of Post 258.
Photos of the veterans will join the 217 already on the post’s Wall of Honor, he said.
“We are here today to honor our deceased veterans,” said Wayne Kreko, commander of Post 258, to the more than 40 people in attendance.
“We are here to honor the memory of our departed comrades who offered their lives in the service of God and country.
“We remember their service in peace and war,” Kreko said. “Because of them, our lives are free. Because of them, the price of freedom was paid. Because of them, our nation lives on.
“May you feel as we that our comrades are at rest and in endless peace with the Lord, the Great Commander of all,” he said.
“We must never forget their service and Tucker A. Gregoire American Legion Post 258 will continue the American Legion tradition of honoring our veterans and our membership for their service.”
As each name was called, family members came up to light a candle and pose with the photo.
The 14 whose photos were unveiled included: Kenny Bland Jr., Philip Brabham, Walter Cunningham, Paul “Buddy” Farkas, Robert Fayard and Joe Gersch.
Also, Steve Ivanisky, A. Jones, S.D. Kinchen, Zoltan Kolezar, Ernest Kropog, Monroe Purvis, Edward Sullivan and Louis Ujuari.
Also recognized were: L.R. Dugas, James Hall, Tillious P. Hoover, Clarence Kemp and Joseph Kropog.
Also, Andrew Lezu, Charles Richard, John Scallon and Steve Vuzoin Jr.
Also on hand was the Empty Chair, a table set for dinner with the POW-MIA symbol on the chair.
Kreko said Resolution 288, adopted at the 67th National Convention of the American Legion, calls for designating a POW/MIA Empty Chair at all official meetings of the American Legion.
The Empty Chair stands as a symbol of the thousands of American prisoners of war and those listed as missing in action and still unaccounted for from all wars and conflicts.
Post Vice Commander Francis Ivanisky read the poem “Flanders Field,” written by Col. John McCrae in World War I.
Members of Boy Scout Troop 172, Russell Egnew, Micha Morris, Joseph Callahan and Jason Meyers, presented the colors.
Post Chaplain Charles Martin read a prayer during the ceremony and Father Jamin S. David, of St. Margaret Catholic Church, did the benediction.