June 9, 2021


Submitted by Ann Knecht

Memorial Day was celebrated by the Barry Hoof American Legion Post 72 in Napoleon beginning at the Napoleon Cemetery to ‘remember’ the fallen soldiers and those who have gone before us.  Their service to our country was one of devotion, honor and respect for America.  They gave their lives to protect our freedoms and promote peace around the world.  Every day we should take a moment to ‘remember’ and pray for peace.  Commander Cole Johnson, Chaplain Ron Kerzman and Auxiliary President Helen Braun shared brief messages of welcome, a prayer and invitation to join the group at the Legion for a program and potluck.

The flags were proudly displayed by Dennis Hottman and Ron Kerzman.  A gun-salute with the Honor Guard led by Jim Hilzendeger with a rifle guard of Tony Leier, Mike Welder, Ben Roehrich, Jordan Dewald and Mike Horner was fired.

Since July 1862 we have heard the call of the bugle for “Taps.”  Once again, the sound echoed from the cemetery to ‘remember’ to give thanks and praise for our days, neath the sun, neath the stars, neath the sky, knowing God is nigh.  Presenting “Taps” this year was Legion member Andy Gross.

At the Legion Hall, Skylar Dewald led the group in the Pledge to the Flag.  Commander Cole Johnson presented a message of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness achieved by our military as they fought to defend America.  The Auxiliary represented by Helen Braun and Chaplain Marie Schnabel shared a Memorial Day Ceremony reading.

Chris Hansen read the POW/MIA (Prisoners of War/Missing in Action) Empty Chair Ceremony as Chaplain Ron Kerzman offered the table symbols to honor the many men and women who are missing from our ranks.

A Memorial Candlelight Ceremony was held to remember Legion and Auxiliary members from 2019-2021 who have gone before us.  ‘Say their names.’ Remembering American Legion members - Jackie Roth, Anton Silbernagel, Julius Leier, Peter Reis, Arthur Schloss, Leo Ibach, Willie P. Piatz, Jerome Schwartzenberger, William “Willie” Bitz, and Thomas Aberle; and American Legion Auxiliary members – Karen Strand, Ida Morlock, Margaret Gross, Julia Horner, and Lorraine Reis.  Copies of the Memorial lists of the local veterans who have died and the Auxiliary Deceased Members were shared.

Auxiliary President Helen Braun participated in the Memorial Day activities explaining the. . .