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American Legion to hold dedication ceremony


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  American Legion Post 55 in McDonough will be holding a dedication ceremony on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 1 p.m. at its Legion Hall, for the installation of a U.S. Army M102 (105MM) Howitzer. The cannon is on loan from the U.S. Army.

Rick Berry, Post 55 Commander, stands beside the Howitzer which is on loan to American Legion Post 55.                         Photo by Mickie Jackson

  Post 55 Commander Rick Berry said the monument is a representative piece of what veterans went through.

  “It’s representative of all five branches of our military, as it has been used in wars since Vietnam and is still used today,” he said.

  Members of American Legion Post 55 secured the donation after a nearly five-year process that began when former Post Commander, Judge James Chafin, submitted the paperwork.

  “In 2008, we made application and were told we were on the list. In October of 2012, we were notified that we would be receiving the Howitzer,” he said. “It was a long wait but well worth it. It’s just great that we have this monument to display.”

  According to Chafin, the Howitzer serves as a glimpse into out nation’s military history and marks a time period of great importance. He said the M102 Howitzer was first used extensively in the Vietnam War because it could be transferred easily.

  “It’s significant because a monument like this is symbolic of the defense of our country and military service and that so many gave,” said Chafin. 

  He said the process to display it on the Legion Hall grounds included making several modifications to demilitarize the weapon, including welding certain moving parts together and filling the barrel with concrete.

  The American Legion is a national Veteran’s organization with a long history of supporting American ideals and the men and women who have served in the country’s Armed Forces.

  American Legion Post 55 was chartered shortly after World War II by the returning veterans of Henry County. Over the years, Post 55 has made numerous contributions to Mc-Donough and the county, including the Eternal Flame on the McDonough Square and the Henry County High School gymnasium, which was constructed by 300 veterans in the 1950s.

  The dedication is open to the public and the American Legion Post 55 welcomes and encourages veterans of all conflicts as well as the general public attend the dedication of the historic military weapon.

  “We hope to get a lot of veterans to come out to the ceremony and for the public to attend and support them for their service to this country,” said Chafin.

  Several groups are expected to participate in the dedication ceremony, including several Boy Scout Troops, the Stockbridge High School NJROTC, who will be presenting the colors, and members of Strong Rock Christian School, who will sing the National Anthem.

  For more information on the American Legion Post 55, see them on Facebook or visit the American Legion website at Post 55 meets the second Tuesday of every month at 6:45 p.m. The American Legion Post 55 is located at 67 Veterans Way, McDonough, GA.



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