A Table of Sorrow and Honor and a Time for Celebration

“News from the Hut”
for American Legion Post #142; Hominy, Oklahoma.
by Gary Lanham

A great time was enjoyed by all at the Legion-Auxiliary Installation Dinner, last Friday at the Hut. Jerry Sebert outdid himself with a full feast, and the ladies once again completed the menu with assorted sides, salads, and desserts. The Post Installation Ceremony was performed with the Auxiliary installing Nancy O’Leary as President and Linda Cross as Executive Committee Woman. The ceremony was performed by Myrna Ladwig from Skiatook, who was the Past State President of the Auxiliary.

The next ceremony was performed by her husband Past State Sgt. at Arms Lucky Ladwig. They did a great job. The same crew remains intact with Commander Charles O’Leary at the helm (for you Navy types), Steve Swinson, (Vice Commander), Eli Prather (Adjunct), Babe Long (2nd Vice Commander), Rex Mantooth (Chaplin), Jack Cross (Treasurer), Babo Carter (Service Officer), and myself as Historian. This was preceded by a sober ceremony recognizing and honoring those soldiers who never returned home from conflict with no determination of their status or known Prisoners of War (POW). It was touching as the Commander read the traditional script for this amazing ceremony that involved a flag, upturned glass, rose, plate with a lemon slice, and an empty chair.

Here is something I pulled up on the American Legion’s commitment to remember, pray, and strive to help find closure for the families of those that sacrificed so much. “The American Legion has always been committed to achieving a full accounting of all POW/MIAs from the Gulf War, Vietnam War, Cold War, Korean War and World War II. This translates into the return of living POWs, the repatriation of their remains, or finding convincing evidence why neither of these are possible.

For years, The American Legion supported a National POW/MIA Recognition Day, which is now recognized annually on the third Friday of September. This commemoration is set aside to honor the commitment and sacrifices made by this nation’s prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action, as well as their families.

Until July 18, 1979, no commemoration was held to honor POW/MIAs. In the first year, Congress passed resolutions and the national ceremony was held at the National Cathedral in Washington. The 1st Tactical Squadron from Langley Air Force Base in Virginia flew the Missing Man formation. A poster was published by VA which contained only the letters POW/MIA. That continued until 1982, when a black and white drawing of a POW in captivity was used to show urgency of the situation.

Every year, National POW/MIA Recognition Day legislation was introduced until 1985, when Congress determined that commemorative days would no longer be considered. The president now signs a proclamation each year.”

The National League of Families proposed the third Friday of September as a commemoration date. Most of the National POW/MIA Recognition Day ceremonies have taken place at the Pentagon. Now, they’re held throughout the nation and around the world on military installations, ships, schools, churches, etc..

After the ceremony Jack Cross, who leads our membership focus, was presented the 100% Membership Excellence Award and the Post received Streamer “Guidon” to display. On it are the words “100% Honor Ribbon. Way to go Jack!

Well the raffle tickets are out on the Damascus Knife raffle donated by Dan Rathbun. I mentioned last week is officially be drawn November 11th on, fittingly, Veteran’s Day. Tickets are $1 each and 6 tickets for $5. You can get your ticket around town where you see advertising or any American Legion member (the usual gang). I suggest you buy a lot, as I am determined to make it mine!

One final note in hot weather. it is amazing that we have those that will step up and care for our lawns. My hat goes off to my good friend Dick Pope for carrying that load so often and recently to Ms. Chrissie Fairweather. Salute Dick! Thank you Ms. Fairweather!

Don’t forget our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM (August 20th). Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in August are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also, keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.

About Gary Lanham

Authors the weekly article "News from the Hut", about local American Legion Post #142 in Hominy, OK. Read his weekly articles in the "Hominy News Progress".
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