Le Roy Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post honors Vietnam War dead
Top photo: Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post #576 Honor Guard members, from left, Don Schafer, Mike Saulsbury, Pat Mooney and Dick Feneran.
For the second year, Le Roy's Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post #576 held a ceremony to honor Le Roy's three Vietnam War dead on Friday, March 29, which was also the nation's second Vietnam Veterans Day since President Trump authorized the designation in 2017.
As with all official events at an American Legion post, a ceremony in remembrance and awareness of prisoners of war and those missing in action (POWs-MIAs) was held first. It is marked by a small table covered with a white tablecloth and on it sits a single rose in a vase, a white candle and a Bible; behind it is an empty chair with a POW-MIA covering.
The ceremony started at 5 p.m. and next the post's Auxiliary President Marlene McCumskey read remarks in commemoration of the service of three LeRoyans who died in the Vietnam War.
She said: "National Vietnam War Veterans Day on March 29 honors the men and women who served and sacrificed during the longest conflict in United States history (up to that time). Generations later, veterans of this time period are gaining the respect that was not so freely given upon their return.
"Involving five U.S. presidents, crossing nearly two decades and 500,000 U.S. military personnel, it left an indelible mark on the American psyche.
"In memory of the three area servicemen who gave the ultimate sacrifice in this effort, we place this wreath in memory of their service to this community, state and nation -- 'Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends...' In Memorium -- Gary Scott, Harry Van Alst, George Fry.
Then, outside, the Honor Guard performed a gun salute and the bugler, Tim Sheflin, played Taps.
"We put this together at the last minute," said Botts-Fiorito Post Adjutant Jerry Diskin. "We are hoping more people come out for it next year; we plan to keep having it. But it is controversial."
Diskin noted that Le Roy High School's Class of 1963 stands today as having the largest number of armed service members of any class there since World War II.
Photos courtesy of Joan Fernaays.
Below, Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post #576 First Vice Commander David Rumsey and Auxiliary President Marlene McCumskey.
Below, the POWs-MIAs ceremony with Botts-Fiorito American Legion Post #576 First Vice Commander David Rumsey, Adjutant Jerry Diskin, and Legionnaire John Rohl.
To All Veterans Everywhere: A Hero Is A Man Who Would Lay Down His Life For His Friends!