Every year the American Legion Post 173 in Hays commemorates Memorial Day with its ceremony honoring veterans.
The ceremony for those who have died or are missing in action from wars past will be Monday at the American Legion building at 1305 Canterbury. A number of veterans from Ellis County participate in honoring those who have served the country in all branches of the military, and anyone in the community is encouraged to attend the event starting at 10 a.m.
“It’s a ceremony we have to honor all veteran that have served or have been killed in action,” said Post 173 Commander of the American Legion Vance Chartier. “It’s for veterans who have served in different wars.”
On active duty for the United States Army for 17.5 years, Chartier retired in 1997. He has been the Post 173 commander since August
The guest speaker will be Taft Yates, chief of police in Ellis. A sergeant first class, Yates was honored in 2015 by being inducted into the 23rd annual U.S. Army Ranger Association Hall of Fame class. The honor is for those who signified “selfless service, excellence and remarkable accomplishment in the defense of the nation and to the highest ideals of service.”
“Basically, we’re always looking for someone with a background in the military,” Chartier said of the guest speaker. “Taft Yates certainly has that. Anyone who has been inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame is great to have as the speaker. He understands what it means to be a veteran.”
Along with the speech Yates will deliver, the Marine Corps League will conduct a flag-folding ceremony.
They will explain the meaning of each fold. There will be the laying of the wreath and a roll call of veterans from Ellis County who gave their lives in wars from World War I to present. The Hays Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter will give a seven-gun rifle salute, followed by dueling Taps by Leroy and Roger Hermann.
Lunch will be served after the ceremony for a free will donation.