By Doris Elmore
Veterans Day Services on Thursday, November 11, this year will have special meaning for the James Reeder Post #770 American Legion and Auxiliary. The service will be held at the Atwood Veterans Memorial, connected with Rajah Memorial Park. In case of rain, the service will have to be canceled due to being unable to use the A-H Grade School gymnasium, which is still under COVID restrictions.
The program will begin at 10 a.m. with the welcome by Atwood American Legion Commander Ken Caraway. Guest speaker will be Illinois State Representative Dan Caulkins.
Other members of the program will be: Opening prayer, Pastor Mike Drake, United Church of Atwood; flag raising, Howard Kamm & Jim McCollum; Star Spangled Banner, A-H Grade School Band; reading of Freedom Is Not Free: Annalise Ponder, Mace Stirrett, Solomon Binion and Bella Romine; POW/MIA Empty Chair: Dorothy Clough, Vice President, American Legion Auxiliary; A-H K-5 singing You Are Our Heroes; Band: Service veterans ordered engraved bricks to line their sidewalk leading to the memorial. The generosity of many volunteers has been a blessing to both the Veterans Memorial and Rajah Park.
The dedication is for Phase 1 of the project, just like Rajah Memorial Park. Next spring landscaping will begin and other items will be added as money permits. The legion receives a portion of each veteran brick ordered. Engraved bricks can be ordered at any time through Marsha Burgener, Director of the A-H Public Library. Due to colder weather, they will be added in the spring.
Please bring your lawn chair with you when you attend the ceremony. The legion is in hopes for good weather for their special ceremony and hope you join them.
A luncheon will be served by the auxiliary at the Atwood Legion Home following the ceremony for all veterans, spouses and guests.