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American Legion Post celebrates Veterans Day

November 22, 2017
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

On Saturday, Nov. 11, promptly at 11 a.m., well over 100 American Legion and VFW members and family gathered on the patio at the American Legion to celebrate Veterans Day.

"Originally Armistice Day was created by President Wilson to celebrate members of the United States Armed Forces that served in World War I," Legion Commander Tom Lewis said. "The holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all of our military men and women."

After a prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, Lewis opened the ceremony. Following Lewis, Linda Lewis (Auxiliary), Don Barber (Sons of American and Riders), Tom Larkin (Legion) and Patricia LaCour (Legion) spoke.

Article Photos

The Legion Honor Guard fires a
21-gun salute.


Pine Island resident and World War II veteran Ed Snyder was present for the ceremony. Snyder was born in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, in 1920 and was 21 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941. He joined the Army Air Corp and flew 30 missions over Nazi Germany in a B-24 as a bombardier in a B-24 Liberator.

"The B-24 was produced in far greater numbers than any other airplane of the war," Snyder said. "It has also been called the 'most maligned' airplane of the war. Flying Fortress (B-17) crews called it 'the crate that ours came in.' But the B-24s, more than any other airplane, helped to stop Hitler's forces in Europe."

Pine Island resident, World War II veteran and VFW member Jim Dolph was only 16 years old and too young to join the service when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. But immediately after turning 18 in 1943, Dolph joined the Navy and served aboard the USS Lackawanna.

"I remember Pearl Harbor very well," Dolph said. "I served in the United States Navy from 1943 to 1945 and served in the Asiatic Pacific. I was aboard a fleet oiler known as 'a floating gas tank.' We refueled aircraft carriers, battleships, destroyers, submarines and you name it. They would pull along side and with 6 to 8-inch hoses we'd couple them up, and we had all kinds of pumping equipment, we'd pump for hours 100 octane gasoline."

"I woke up this morning with memories of several occasions on the ship that weren't very comforting. When they would sound general quarters everyone went to their battle stations," Dolph said. "The carriers would catapult planes and sometimes they wouldn't get up enough speed and drop into the sea. Many, many men lost their lives. Whenever they sounded GQ you knew you had a problem."

The ceremony ended with the Honor Guard firing a 21-gun salute and the sounding of taps.



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