LIMA — Local veterans took time Saturday to pay homage to those who fought for our country. Members of the Marine Corps League, Det. 1063 and American Legion Post 96 held a ceremony at Faurot Park to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.
“We picked this spot, near this World War I cannon. It’s a 1908 Howitzer Carriage that was forged in 1913, and the city parks department kept it well-maintained since our congressman, John Cable, got two of them from war surplus in 1922. We picked this spot for that reason. It’s important to do that on this 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, because that’s the war that changed the world. It changed this country. We have a plaque we want to attach to it so people in the future can read and ask questions about what that was all about and why it happened,” said Larry Huffman, a former Marine who helped organize the ceremony.
The plaque reads: “On Nov. 10, 2018, members of the American Legion Post #96 and Marine Corps League Detachment 1063 gathered here to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War in Europe and to remember William Paul Gallagher K.I.A. June 18, 1918 and Leonard Foster Mason K.I.A. July 22, 1944, whose sacrifice, it was hoped, would have brought about the end of the war to end all wars.”
Prior to the unveiling of the plaque, which will be placed on the cannon, there was a flag-raising ceremony led by members of the American Legion and Marine Corps League.
“It’s important to remember veterans who served and died, but it’s also important to remember what they did and when they did it,” Huffman said. “After the Civil War, if you were part of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans group of the day, everybody knew you’ve been involved in changing the country, putting the country back together and making the United States a true United States. Since then, our involvement in foreign wars has changed the world. Most significantly, being in the 20th century, World War I, followed by World War II, which was really the same war in the same place, changed the world forever, for better, for worse. Since then, the wars have gotten fewer, shorter and fewer casualties.”
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.