End of an era in Sinclairville

SINCLAIRVILLE – The 90th annual Memorial Day ceremony took place at Evergreen Cemetery Monday after the parade route reached Soldiers Monument. People gathered to remember all the veterans who made sacrifices for freedom. This ceremony, however, was the final one to be put on by the Sinclairville American Legion. The group will turn in its charter this summer.

“I feel bad that it has to be the last one put on by the post, but it’s just changing times, Ted LeBaron, commander of the Sinclairville American Legion, said. “Our membership will make other posts stronger. But I feel good knowing that we had so much help in previous years from people who are not a member of our legion. I hope that we will be able to continue the service, for that was the main purpose of the post: to put on the service. The village building was our post and was donated to the community for the veterans use. “

The post was named in honor of David Vern Luce, according to a speech by Adjutant Howard Green in 2009. At the time of entering into the U.S. Army, he was mail carrier for Sinclairville. He left on April 1, 1918 and was wounded in the Battle of Argonne Forest. He died in a French hospital days later. He served in Company E, 309th Infantry, and 78th Lightning Division. His grave site is near the Soldiers Monument, which is where the annual service to honor veterans is held. The first service took place in May 1924 and has continued annually preceded by the parade leading into Evergreen Cemetery.

The post supported many groups including veterans and families, the Newton Memorial Hospital in Cassadaga, and boys entering the Boys State program. It also supported activities including Boy Scouts, the youth baseball program and Sons of the American Legion post.

LeBaron hopes the service can continue, despite the handing in of their charter, to honor veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The help and support from others including younger veterans is needed to keep the service going.

“Our real hope is to get young veterans interested,” LeBaron said. “Quite frankly, the Vietnam veterans are getting to an age where it is a challenge to find physically able veterans of my generation that can do a rifle squad and carry flags. We need younger men and women who have served to be a part of the ceremony.”