WAYLAND — Honoring those who fought and died for our freedom is an important part of our country’s tradition.
On Memorial Day the Wayland American Legion puts together a huge ceremony to honor the fallen veterans.
The Wayland American Legion Honor Guard will hold ceremonies at the following locations; Quantz Road Cemetery at 7:30 a.m., Emo Road Cemetery at 7:45 a.m., Loon Lake Cemetery at 8 a.m., Old Catholic Cemetery at 8:45 a.m., New Catholic Cemetery at 8:55 a.m., Pfaff Hollow Road Cemetery at 9:50 a.m., Perkinsville Parade at 10 a.m., Sacred Heart Ceremony after parade, Wayland Parade at 11 a.m., Wayland Village Cemetery for ceremony after parade. Afterwards join the legion for chicken or smoked brisket from noon until gone. The band “Against the Wind” will start playing at 1 p.m.
Post Commander Kevin Mark said this is something they have done every year, and he wants people to know how important it is to keep it alive.
“Everyone does a lot of work in getting the cemeteries ready for this,” he said. “We honor those who served our country. We also honor the police officers, EMS, and firemen.”
Mark wants to thank everyone who helps out every year to make this a special day for all veterans.
“People put a lot of care into this,” he said. “We place over 900 flags on fallen veterans graves, and the legion provides markers as well.”
The legions take the old flags and replace them with new ones every Memorial Day.
“We try to honor every service man and woman in the Wayland area,” Mark said. “It is never ending work, but we like doing it every year. We want to keep all of the veterans in our hearts.”
There is a lot that goes into caring for the fallen soldiers every year, and it is done with such honor.
The funeral homes like St. George’s and Bairds give the fallen veterans information to the legion whenever a soldier has passed on. The Snyder Brothers work on making the cemetery beautiful every year.
It is a lot of work to maintain the list of veterans every year, since there are so many fallen soldiers in the Wayland area going back to the American Revolution.
“It is hard to have a complete list of fallen veterans,” Mark said. “It is neat to know the history though, and hear the stories of how they arrived back home, or the sadder ones that didn’t make it back.”
Mark also lists the names of veterans from the Wayland area that are buried overseas or have ashes scattered somewhere else.
Anyone in the Wayland and Perkinsville area can give Mark any names of fallen veterans at the legion, so his list is always up to date.
“I hope when us veterans are gone there will be someone around to take over this tradition,” Mark said. “I want to have someone take care of us the way we take care of all our fallen veterans.”
Anyone who wants to help out on Memorial Day or help maintain the soldiers gravestones can contact the legion.
Mark added that there are about 70 people in the area serving in the military.