Dodge City Veterans' Council hold remembrance ceremonies
Memorial Day ceremonies were held at Maple Grove Cemetery in Dodge City on Monday.
According to the American Legion, the program was organized by members of the Dodge City Veterans’ Council which is a joint effort of Dodge City’s G.I. Forum, Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion – The Avenue of Flags.
In charge of this year’s program was The G.I. Forum however due to inclement weather, members raised only the flags in the Veterans Circle.
Veterans’ Council president Alan Burkhart was the Master of Ceremonies who welcomed guest speaker Allen Baily.
According to Burkhart, Baily served as Dodge City’s honorary marshal for 17 years.
Baily spoke of the many veterans he had known throughout his life and how the personal experiences of other affected his life.
“I grew up in Cimarron and spent a lot of time in the local barber shop listening to WW II veterans talk about their experiences,” Baily said. “Sometimes I don’t feel worthy to talk about the heroes I have known.”
Baily told a story of a World War II veteran who suffered from mustard gas exposer as well as of relatives who lost both legs in combat and another who died after exposure to “Agent Orange” in Vietnam.
“When people think of valuable metals, they think of gold, silver, and platinum,” Baily said. “To me, the most valuable metal is the metal in a veteran’s dog tags who has given his life in service to his country.”
Following Baily was a laying of wreaths by Mary Ortiz and Sofia Mondragon of the G.I. Forum Auxiliary, Marsha Weber from the American Legion Auxiliary and Steve Dalcon from the VFW Auxiliary.
The wreaths were laid at the Unknown Soldier Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial and Vietnam Veteran Jesse Ramos laid a bouquet of roses at the Vietnam Memorial in honor of his fallen comrades.
In speaking of the ceremony, American Legion finance officer Roger Jones said, “I’ve been a part of Memorial Day programs for over 25 years.
"Allen Baily told stories about local veterans and the weather was tolerable. I’m looking forward to next year.”
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