FAIRBORN — A pandemic won’t keep American Legion Post 526 from honoring the fallen this Memorial Day.
Monday, May 25 will mark the first virtual Memorial Day service hosted by the Fairborn post. Traditionally, participants and spectators gather at Fairfield Cemetery for the ceremony.
This year, the event will begin at 11 a.m. at the Fairborn Senior Center. Participants will be limited, and community members will not be able to attend the ceremony in person.
Instead, all will have the opportunity to view the service from their homes. The event will be recorded, and will be shown on Fairborn Government Access Channel 5, as well as City of Fairborn Facebook and YouTube pages, between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., according to City of Fairborn Communications Manager Meghan Howard and Post Commander John Dugan.
“Even with current social restrictions we can still honor the memory of our countrymen who gave their lives in service to our country, especially Fairborn’s own Jesse Snow, who gave his life in The War on Terror,” Chuck Knaub, a past commander of the post, wrote on Facebook.
The ceremony will include the raising of the flag and posting of the colors, prayers and words from speakers, as well as the reading of the names of wartime fallen from Fairfield, Osborn, Fairborn and Bath Township.
“As the American Legion Auxiliary, Dignam-Whitmore, Unit 526 hold a special place in our hearts for the parents, siblings, spouses, and friends of those who served, we cannot help but think about all the men and women who have gone to fight for this great nation and didn’t return home,” Pam Bates, Unit 526 public relations chairperson, wrote in a release. “ … Memorial Day is the day Americans set aside to honor those brave men and women who met tragic ends while defending our freedom.”
American Legion members symbolically wear a poppy in tribute to those lost in war.
“When the American Legion Family adopted the poppy as its memorial flower is the early 1920s, the blood-red icon became an enduring symbol of honor for the sacrifices of our veterans from the battlefields of France in World War 1 to today’s global war on terror,” Bates said. “The poppy also honors hospitalized and disabled veterans who handcraft many of the red, crepe paper flowers. Making the poppies provides a financial and therapeutic benefit to the veterans, as well as a benefit to thousands of other veterans.”
In past years, members distributed veteran-made red poppies around Fairborn in exchange for donations. To help benefit the Dayton VA veterans, the post instead will hold a May Poppy Program Bakeless Bake Sale where citizens can send donations to ALA Unit 526, P.O. Box 168, Fairborn, Ohio 45324.
National Poppy Day was May 22. Unit 526 encourages Fairborn citizens to wear a poppy or post a picture of a poppy in their window throughout Memorial Day weekend.
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