WAYLAND — The Wayland American Legion honored Flag Day with local seniors committing to become soldiers.
On June 14 several students made an oath to fight and protect their country. At this time the Legion also honored the post’s namesake Pvt. Theodore Roosevelt Van Tassell. Pvt. Van Tassell was killed in action in France during World War I. This year marks the 100th anniversary of his death, and the Legion had a display at Flag Day.
Post Commander Kevin Mark said the Legion wanted to honor Pvt. Van Tassell’s legacy.
“This was the most well attended Flag Day Ceremony we ever had,” he said. “We had a lot more seniors to soldiers this year too.”
There were over 4,000 flags retired, and they were all replaced with new ones to honor the country.
“We wanted to acknowledge the namesake of our post,” Mark said. “We put on a special display to honor his 100th anniversary of his death. It is a historical moment, and it shows how long the Legion has supported the town.”
The anniversary of Wayland American Legion is 2022, and at that time the post will honor their namesake once more.
Miss NY Teen Leeann Perkowski is starting up an organization to help new soldiers. She gave Blue Stars to all the mothers, and a letter talking about her plans for this organization.
“We hope to keep Pvt. Van Tassell’s legacy alive for as long as possible,” Mark said. “The Legion has been here for 100 years, and we hope it will be here forever.”
Some descendants of Pvt. Van Tassell came to visit a few months back, according to Mark. They were very pleased with the way the legion is honoring their lost loved one.
The seniors to soldiers are: Nicholas Brown, US Air Force, Genesee Valley High; Aydan Cotter, US Marines Corp., Wayland-Cohocton; Mackenzie Curtin, US Army, Wayland-Cohocton; Dylan Duffy, US Air Force, Dansville Central; Colin Feenaughty, US Air Force, Canisteo-Greenwood High; Zachary Graham, US Army, Allegheny-Limestone High; Brennon Lacy, US Air Force, Canaseraga High; Gavin Ladd, US Army, Wayland-Cohocton; Garrett Mark, US Air Force, Dansville Central; James McCormick, US Army, Andover High; Jenna Theilen, US Air Force, Arkport High; and Brayden Whitcomb, US Air Force, Hammondsport High.