American Legion stages Memorial Day service, luncheon May 25

MARYSVILLE — Marysville American Legion Post 178 invites the community to attend their observance of Memorial Day ceremony, starting at 11 a.m. May 25 at the Marysville Cemetery, located at 8801 State Ave.

Memorial Day is set aside to remember fallen members of the military. For those who have served in the military, the day holds a special significance, which local Legion members hope they can impart to the public, both during the service and at the following open house and free luncheon, held at noon at the American Legion Post 178 hall, located at 119 Cedar Ave.

The military experiences of local Legion members Ray Patterson and Autrey Steilling could not be more different, but both men had similar messages about the importance of Memorial Day. Patterson served in the Army during the Vietnam War era, but counts himself lucky that he never landed in a “hot zone,” during a military career of 33 years, including his time on both active and reserve duty. As for Steilling, he served in the Navy from 1957-1962, including a tour when he “wintered over” at the South Pole.

Both men are proud of their service, and hope to pass on that pride by honoring those who have served, and supporting those who still serve. For Patterson, supporting service members and their families is one of the reasons he joined the Legion, while Steilling sees the military as a vital part of a larger network that keeps their countrymen safe.

“I appreciate the men and women who are still serving, and those who have passed on, because in both cases, their efforts have contributed to the defense of our country,” Patterson said.

“The men and women who are serving today are facing off against terror,” Steilling said. “I want to honor them, as well as those who have passed away, including the civilians that have supported us, in hospitals and clinics, and the police officers and firefighters, both the living and the fallen. They all get paid pennies, compared to people like professional athletes, but their trails are far above what most people can imagine. When we put those flags up, we honor those who keep us safe, and protect the rights that many other countries simply don’t have.”

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