THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Coleman Legion Honors Those Who Gave the Supreme Sacrifice
Coleman"The Kalbes-Seewald American Legion Post 280 Memorial Day Services were held in the Coleman High School Gym, on Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m. The program was dedicated to the memory of Robert Murrock, who passed away on Oct. 5, 2016. Former Legion Commander, he served in the Marines during the Korean War and was a very involved Legion member.
After the presentation of Colors by the Legion Color Guard and the posting of the flags, the Coleman High School Band, under the direction of Becca Shuman, played "The Message on the Rock" as Sean McGough narrated past presidential quotes. The musical composition was inspired by The Freedom Rock, a 60+ ton boulder located in rural Iowa that contains battle scenes from the nation's history and fragment of speeches from American presidents. It was established in 1999 and is repainted with different scenes every year to thank veterans and to honor their service.
The Coleman High School Choir, under the direction of Kathy Bader sang several selections during the program including: The National Anthem, the "Salute to the Armed Forces" and "An American Celebration" the closing song along with the Band.
The 2017 Badger State Girls Beth Gannigan and McKenna Kreischer led the Pledge of Allegiance.
In his opening remarks, Legion Chaplain Dennis Alexander stated that Memorial Day is a day for remembering those lost in the line of duty and asked for prayers for the families of the veterans whose lives were lost.
Legion Commander Ken Stodola welcomed those in attendance and again reminded the audience of the true meaning of Memorial Day-"to remember those who paid the ultimate price for our safety, by laying down their lives for us."
A moving video "I Will Remember" cast a somber tone over the crowd and this was followed by Guest Speaker Dennis Bratton, a retired Desert Storm veteran. Bratton spoke of not just the colors of the flag, but the individual threads of the flag which represent to him his family and all of the families. He compared the shortest threads to those veterans who "gave up the only thing we truly own-our life" and pledged that he would not forget, as he remembered his comrades whose lives were lost, whether on the battle field or otherwise-both men and women. Veterans have been lost not just in the war zone, but also in the country, especially to suicide and he urged the people to recognize the signs and symptoms and "grab and take care of those in need". In conclusion, he stated, "Never Forget".
The 2017 Badger State Boy, Tylor Kwiecinski read the poem "Forgotten Fighter" and followed by a video message from former President Ronald Reagan, titled "Thank You".
The Memorial to Veterans Killed in Action, highlighted area veterans, who lost their lives from the following wars: Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korean War, Cold War, Vietnam War and the War on Terror. They were saluted by a rifle salute by the Legion Firing Squad and Taps by the Legion Bugler.
Stodola recognized and congratulated two 2017 Coleman High School graduates will be entering the military. They are Hunter Schlies, who has chosen the Army and leaves June 21st for Fort Benning, GA to train for mortar infantry and Abe Nowak, who chose the Marines and will leave for San Diego, CA on July 17.
The closing song, "An American Celebration" ended the program and the Colors were retired.