Poppies, motorcycle rides and more: How the Legion family will help commemorate Memorial Day

After two years of being canceled or rerouted, the Ride for America returns on Memorial Day for the 24th year. Co-founded by Mr. Stan Mauldin, an American Legion Trooper and former Commanding Officer of American Legion Post 233 in Loganville, Georgia, the ride raises money for a variety of charitable causes, including the University’s Scholarship Fund. American Legion Legacy.

Over 850 motorcycles took part in the accompanied ride in 2021, which had to be re-routed due to COVID-19 restrictions. This year’s ride will be from Loganville to Madison; after a Memorial Day ceremony, the ride returns to post 233 for lunch, music, and prizes.

“The past two years have been difficult for many of us, including the families we support,” Mauldin told the event’s website. “The United States of America is the greatest nation in the world, so Ride for America volunteers believe we will ride proudly again and support our veterans.”

Further north and east, Memorial Day will be the backdrop for the unveiling of New Jersey Legionnaire Joe McElroy’s Project Poppy. A member of Post 38 in Haddonfield, McElroy got the idea for the project after seeing the “Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” ceramic poppies exhibition at the Tower of London.

McElroy worked with Haddonfield resident Lisa Quanci and other local volunteers to create Project Poppy, which involves the installation of 3,837 poppies at Haddonfield Memorial High School. The amount represents the number of New Jersey men killed during World War I.

The Memorial Day installation ceremony will include remarks from Station 38 Commander Stephen Pecorelli and Mayor of Haddonfield Colleen Bianco Bezich, military honors, placement of flags representing each American war, and the reading of “In Flanders Field” by the Haddonfield Memorial High School Honor Society.

“We are very detached from the people who uphold our freedom,” McElroy told The Sun newspapers. “Memorial Day is a day to remember those who paid the price for this freedom.”

Here are a few more examples of how members of the American Legion family have or will commemorate Memorial Day. Please let us know how you did by sharing your stories and photos at www.legiontown.org.

Arkansas

In Carlisle, Rollie Crowder Post 133 Carlisle will place flags at service graves in at least three cemeteries on May 28 for the fifth year. They will be assisted by members of the American Legion baseball team from post 133 and a local scout troop. The public is invited to participate in the effort.

California

In San Diego, the American Legion Post 6 will hold a Memorial Day Ceremony at Greenwood Memorial Park. The Post 6 Honor Guard will lead the ceremony, which will include a guest singer.

In Newport Beach, the American Legion Post 291 Honor Guard will hold a ceremony at Pacific View Cemetery and later in the day a similar ceremony at the post.

Colorado

In Colorado Springs, the Neal Thomas Jr. Centennial Post 209 Honor Guard will render a rifle salute during the ceremony at Pikes Peak National Cemetery. National Post Office Membership and Activities Committee Chair, Post 209 member Jay Bowen, will be the guest speaker at the ceremony, which is expected to be attended by more than 400 people.

During this time, American Legion family members from Post 209 will place roses at the Vietnam Memorial and the Forward Air Controller Memorial at Memorial Park.

Connecticut

In West Hartford, the American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 100th Anniversary will coincide with the city’s Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony. U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Edward Banta will be the keynote speaker for the ceremony and the grand marshal of the parade, which will include local high school groups, marching groups from veterans and community organizations, police and fire departments, scout units, sports teams and city officials, and a C-130 flyover.

French department

Paris Post 1 will hold several ceremonies, including at the American Legion-AVA Iron Mike Park in La Fiere near Sainte Mere Eglise, Normandy, France. Post 1 Vice Commander Valerie Prehoda will present a wreath on behalf of the American Legion.

Illinois

Rehfeldt-Meyer American Legion Post 474 teams up with the Village of Matteson for “A Day of Remembrance Memorial Day Parade & Concert.” The day will include a pre-ceremony at the station before a parade, which will be followed by another ceremony at the station, as well as a “battle of the bands” between local schools that will turn into a Memorial Day concert.

Iowa

In Knoxville, Iowa, American Legion Post 168 placed 1,200 flags at the graves of veterans buried in the area on May 24, and on May 26 the post decorated Graceland Cemetery with the Avenue of Flags and followed by a short ceremony. The flags will be removed on May 31.

Kentucky/Ohio

American Legion Riders Chapter 471 in Portsmouth, Ohio is teaming up with American Legion Post 276 in South Shore, Ky., for a Memorial Day community event. The event will take place at Poste 276 and will include free hot dogs, free inflatable games for children and free entertainment.

Post 471 is also doing a 50/50 raffle and will raffle off a Harley-Davidson Sportster and Michael Kors handbag. Post 471 will also use the event to enroll new members.

Michigan

Memorial Day, Berkley American Legion Stanley J. Fons Post 374 holds ceremonies at 11 a.m. at the City Hall Gazebo and at the post at noon. The post teams up with the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Royal Canadian Legion to lead the ceremonies.

Missouri

After having to go on hiatus due to COVID-19, American Legion Post 305 at Cole Camp is resuming its Memorial Day tradition of visiting local cemeteries to honor veterans buried there.

New Jersey

American Legion Post 43 in Florham Park holds a parade and then holds a picnic. The post parade has been a Memorial Day tradition for over 70 years.

New York

In Brooklyn, the American Legion Post 1636 will participate in the Bay Ridge Memorial Day Parade.

Ohio

After having to hold a small ceremony for the past two years, the American Legion family of Post 15 in Poland is bringing back their annual Memorial Day Parade. Post 15 invites all area WWII veterans to serve as Grand Marshals. A car will be provided for veterans to ride.

Caroline from the south

The Legion Family of American Legion Post 193 and the Town of Chapin are teaming up to host an outdoor Memorial Day Ceremony at Chapin Town Hall. An indoor reception will follow the ceremony.

Wisconsin

In Allenton, the American Legion Post 483 Honor Guard will visit eight local cemeteries to honor the veterans buried in each. The Honor Guard will visit St. Mathias Cemetery, St. Peter’s Cemetery, Sacred Heart Cemetery, St. Antoine Cemetery, SS. Peter & Paul Cemetery, Zion Lutheran Cemetery, St. Lawrence Cemetery and St. John’s Cemetery.

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