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Legion Post to observe Memorial Day Saturday

By Maria Jose Subiria

msubiria@news-daily.com

While the nation observed Memorial Day on Monday, the American Legion Post 258 in Jonesboro says it will observe the holiday on its original date, May 30.

This Saturday, post officials said their annual Memorial Day ceremonies, including a flag retirement, and placing of flags on veterans' graves at the Jonesboro City Cemetery on Johnson Street by local Boy Scouts, will be held from 9:30 a.m., to 5 p.m.

"I would hope they would get a reminder of what Memorial Day is about. Memorial Day is not about barbecuing ... Memorial Day is to remember why we are here to enjoy days such as these," said Dave Walker, commander of the American Legion Post 258 in Jonesboro.

"Why are we allowed to celebrate these days? Because of the sacrifices that were made by those who laid down their lives. It's about those who made it possible for the rest of us," he said.

The flag-retirement ceremony, at 11:30 a.m., at the American Legion at 1480 American Legion Way, will follow the observance at the Jonesboro City Cemetery, Walker said.

Boy Scouts Troop 136, and Cub Scouts Pack 543, along with the American Legion Post 258 Honor Guard will decorate the graves of the American soldiers buried at the cemetery, said Walker.

Troop 136 has been participating in the celebration for an estimated five years, said Emmett Arnold, troop committee chairman for Boy Scouts Troop 136.

"It shows them respect for elders, and respect for veterans, and a small facet of good citizenship," said Arnold.

"It makes them aware of the fallen veterans that we have, and it encourages our boys to come out, and do this every year," said Lynn Wallace, assistant scout master and treasurer for Boy Scouts Troop 136.

At the Legion post, the American Red Cross will be present for those who would like to donate blood to their blood banks, Walker said.

He said the blood drive will begin at 12 p.m., and will end at 5 p.m. A raffle will be conducted in conjunction with the blood drive, Walker said.

There will also be a cook-out throughout the evening, he said.

On Sunday, The American Legion Riders Post 258 will hold its third annual ride for Leukemia. Participants will meet at Harley-Davidson of Clayton County, 1384 South Lake Parkway, Morrow, at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $30 per rider and $10 per passenger. Proceeds will go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and a local young child who is in remission from the disease, Walker said.

"We start rides for various causes," said Walker. "The membership will vote for what they want to ride for."

After the ride is completed, participants will gather at the Legion post. Riders will be provided with food, and will be able to participate in a raffle.

"We are more than a social club," Walker said. "We are a service organization."