Kasson Legion honors deceased members with ‘Post Everlasting’ ceremony
Kasson’s American Legion Post 333 held a solemn ceremony Sunday night to honor those veterans and members of the organization who had died over the past year. It was the post’s first-ever Post Everlasting Ceremony and packed the Legion hall with members, friends and family members of those remembered.
A Post Everlasting ceremony honors deceased veterans, Auxiliary members and Sons of the Legion and transfers them to their “last post.”
The ceremony also included the “empty table” present at many Legion activities that remembers the POWs and MIAs from the country’s military conflicts.
“This service deepens our reverence for our departed comrades,” Post 1st Vice Commander Paul Reese told those gathered.
For the main part of the ceremony, Post Commander Christy Eischens read the name of each deceased individual and passed on a slip of paper with their name to 1st District Commander Dale Wellik, a member of Post 333, who verified the name was correct, and then passed it on to Post Adjutant and Chaplain Dick Denny who placed the name in a container where it was burned.
With the ceremony, the individuals were “now entered into the record and transferred to the Post Everlasting.”
Denny placed the POW flag on the chair at the “empty table” and Dodge County Veterans Service Officer Todd Nelson read a poem before Nelson, Denny and Wellik folded the American flag as the meaning behind each fold was explained.
Many American Legion Posts hold such a ceremony periodically, often every year, and Eischens said she had attended such a ceremony conducted by the Hayfield Post.
She was moved by the ceremony, she said, and wanted to bring it to the Kasson Post. Sunday’s ceremony, she said, honored 27 veterans who have died in the past year and two members of the Post’s Legion Auxiliary.
With the success of the first Post Everlasting, she said, the event will become an annual one.
Eischens, who is the first female commander of the local post, also added that this year is the 100th anniversary of Post 333, which was organized in 1920 with about two dozen members.