Honor the heroes
Tue, 06/06/2023 - 12:27pm caleb
American Legion Post 106 conducts annual Memorial Day ceremony at Elmwood Cemetery on Monday, May 29
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
American Legion Post 106 of Grayling and members of the community honored fallen U.S. military veterans during an annual Memorial Day ceremony at the Elmwood Cemetery on Monday, May 29.
Larry Domcik, American Legion Post 106 Commander, said the event went well overall and turnout was strong.
“I think it went pretty good,” Domcik said. “Good turnout.”
The event featured a performance of Taps by Grayling High School students Katie Mahaffy and Alison Helinski. The ceremony also featured playing of the national anthem and a rifle squad tribute.
During his speech on Monday, Domcik spoke about the importance of remembering the sacrifices of veterans and giving veterans their due honors, even if it happens many years later.
“We do not forget. Whether it’s an hour ago or a century ago, we remember,” Domcik said.
Domcik told the story of Pascal Poolaw, who “enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1942” and was “awarded the Purple Heart and Silver Star while serving with the Fourth Infantry in Belgium. He was awarded two more Silver Stars and a battlefield commission for his actions in Korea. In 1962 Lieutenant Poolaw retired after a successful 20-year Army career. When his three sons went off to Vietnam, Poolaw felt compelled to once again enlist. He sacrificed his commission to serve as a senior NCO in combat. On November 7, 1967 Poolaw led a squad that was ambushed during Operation Shenandoah II in Loc Ninh. Hit by fire, he attempted to pull one of his wounded soldiers to safety before succumbing to his own wounds. First Sergeant Pascal Poolaw, a veteran of three wars, was posthumously awarded his fourth Silver Star and third Purple Heart.”
“We are here today for heroes like Pascal Poolaw, people who have given all that they can give so that others can enjoy freedom,” Domcik said. “We honor the heroes of all wars, not just on Memorial Day, but through our daily commitment to ensure that America remains a place worthy of such sacrifice.”
“The men and women who died for our freedom represent the diverse patchwork that is the United States of America. They came from every ethnicity, background, and political spectrum. Their one common characteristic is that they all took an oath to die for America if called upon,” Domcik said. “We can ensure that the memories of these heroes and their sacrifices are not in vain. We can ensure that future generations understand the importance of service, sacrifice, and honor. We can ensure through our own community service that our country remains strong, free, and prosperous.”
“We are dedicated to preserving the memory of our fallen heroes and declare our unending gratitude and support for their families,” Domcik said. “Let us take this time to remember and honor the men and women who have given their lives for this great country. Let us reflect on their courage, their sacrifice, and their dedication to a cause greater than themselves, and let us recommit ourselves to the cause of freedom, justice, and democracy, so that the legacy of our fallen heroes will live on for generations to come.”
“We continue to mourn their loss, but most of all, we celebrate their lives,” Domcik said.