A bouquet of 21 white roses held by, from left, Megan Wise, Leeanne Lollar, and Kara Johnson Drew, honors the white rose initially placed on the casket of the Tomb of the Unknown Solder 100 years ago. The three women are veteran members of the Samuel Bryan Chapter (DAR).
By Al Stilley
A standing-room crowd of young and older patriots honored our nation’s veterans Thursday during the annual observance at Beech Grove City Hall.
The Veterans Day event on the Southside was observed with hosting organizations City of Beech Grove and the Samuel Bryan Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). The local DAR chapter also led a special observance of the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Nearly 100 patrons, including several youngsters, attended the one-hour ceremony held inside City Hall due to inclement weather.
“We congregate today as free people,” Beech Grove Mayor Dennis Buckley stated in his welcoming remarks.
Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) reminded patrons to hold onto “our precious freedoms” to honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of America’s freedoms and democracy. He also posed for photos afterward with members of the Beech Grove High School Junior ROTC who served as greeters as patrons entered the council room on the second floor of City Hall.
Participating organizations included American Legion Post 276, American Legion Auxiliary Post 276, Beech Grove Fire Department, and Beech Grove Police Department.
The annual event also honored 20 veterans from Beech Grove who gave their lives in military service seven in World War II, five in the Civil War, five in the Vietnam War, two in the Korean War, and one in the War of 1812.
Beech Grove resident Steve Nontell read In Flanders Fields, the patriotic poem from World War I, Doug Hardwick played Amazing Grace on bagpipes, and all guests stood and sang the National Anthem and God Bless America.
Members of the DAR chapter presented a moving program in honor of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that included the ringing of the bell 21 times, presentation of 21 white roses, a two-minute “great silence” in recognition of the establishment of the tomb on the 11th hour, 11th day, and 11th month in 1921, and Taps.
Following the observance at City Hall, a reception was held at American Legion Post 276 in Beech Grove.