Each year at the end of the summer we all ponder where the carefree days have gone, we know the summer is coming to an end because it is time to celebrate Ferron's annual celebration, "Peach Days," the end of summer dance. The great peach harvest is long gone, the old day's of the large orchard of the juicy, sticky, itchy fruit is only a memory of the old now. But Ferron, still continues to carry on the traditions and pick someone to honor during the celebrations as Grand Marshals. They will lead the parade on Saturday and 2003 will be no different.
Ferron City Council and the organizers of the event have chosen the members of the American Legion Post 42 and American Legion Auxiliary Unit 42 to be the Grand Marshals of the parade and activities. Some may wonder why this choice was made, it is a choice for the season of our life. We as a country are very seated into the patriotic scene and the year of the volunteer. These men and women fit this description very well. Not only do they support the veterans of our community, they support the community as a whole. By educating and working through service to make a better society.
When I was asked to put down some words about this noble acknowledgment it was hard for me to decide what would make the public think about its choice. Hopefully, you will be able to understand what makes this organization work and why I and many wonder why everyone that is eligible to join, does not. The men and women of this organization have for years given of their time to help the veterans and families of this country. They provided programs to help the needy, teach the masses and stood proud as defenders of this free country. I know no other place where you can meet people of so many different backgrounds, religions and societies that care about one goal, that is to provide what you need.
The men and women of this organization have come and gone in this world, asking nothing except your support. No nobler cause is theirs than to honor the ones that have given, so you and I can live free.
This organization is large throughout the country, has been in existence since the end of World War I. The members that belong now have provided many services over the year, such as burial duties, parades, Sub-for-Santa, Girls and Boys State, these are only a few but they have touched many. We could not do this tribute without mentioning some members, but all that have joined are so valuable to this organization. As we look towards the fun days of 2003 Peach Days, bow your head, look to the sky, remember and smile for they have served, Glenn Swasey, Phillip Nelson, Sam Singleton, Jo Clawson, Belle Harris, Don Peterson, Ashley Riddle, Perk Allred, Red Hess, Dean Behling, Gerald Stanton, Evelyn Roundy, Martha Coley, JoAnn Behling, Kelly Danzer, Don Riddle, Lucinda Wild, Bonnie Boren, LaVar Leonhardt, Clifford Snow, Alta Singleton, Laurie Pitchforth, Evelyn Huntsman, Bryce Syndergaard, Ray Wareham, Max Ralphs, Gina Swasey, Wayne Wilberg, and so many more. I give you only a few, but there are so many. We have past Department Presidents, Dixie Swasey and Carol Riddle, past Western Division Honorary Junior Vice President, Chesney Riddle Galindo. We are proud to have our Gold Star Mother, Bertha Blackburn. This year we are honored to have the American Legion Auxiliary Department Member of the year, congratulations to our own Jan Hess. We are just so lucky so many want to belong, pay their dues and serve. Give a Veteran a hug and say Thank You, we have many in this community.