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May 28, 2004

Memorial Day remembered thanks to American Legion

The annual Memorial Day observance for Americans will soon be with us. Thanks to the local American Legion post, Perry revived the observance about seven years ago, and we have held some sort of remembrance for this event ever since. It hardly needs to be said, but every community in this blessed land also should kneel in thanks for the sacrifices made by some of the finest young men and women this old world will ever know. They gave their very lives, their families, their careers, their personal aspirations, their loved ones and all other objectives to wage war against the world dictators who ever sought to subjugate the rest of us.

The Legion post also has made possible an American Legion baseball program for young men of this area, and that has proven to be a very worthy activity. Boys State is another citizenship training program sponsored by the Oklahoma Department of the American Legion, along with other very worthy activities for the teenage population of Oklahoma, and Perry should be proud to take its place among those sponsors

But now we understand that the Perry Legion post itself is facing a matter of survival. The charter was nearly lost in 1997 when apathy almost led to the demise of American Legion post activities in Perry. Enough men and women who had served this country in the military at wartime are needed to sustain the post. Now we are back in the old cycle of "let George do it." The American Legion in Perry evidently is in great danger of losing its identity here, and that would be a terrible shame.

Some say the American Legion is a relic of the World War I era and that it might as well fade from the horizon. For a moment, just think about what the local post has meant to this community, and then decide if you want to continue.

Hopefully, there will be a reasonably large turnout of men and women for the post meeting on the evening of June 1 starting at 7 p.m. The Legion has provided material help for many individuals and families in this area for many years. If the present post is unable to muster more than a handful of helpers, this may be the end of the road for Ellis-Jirous American Legion post in Perry America.