By: Rebecca Miller
American Legion Post 60 Commander, Rick Wityk, who served in the U.S. Airforce from 1966-1970, speaks pride in his voice, of the post with which he has been active for the past 25 years. Recently, on May 11, 2019, Memorial Day, Wityk took part in a ceremony in which seven soldiers who were buried in the Buck Cemetery in Evansport, were honored.
From the official government records that are kept at the American Legion, as well as at the courthouse and with the Federal Government, information was gathered about the seven men and now there is a plaque at the cemetery with their names on it. Benedict Andres, Co. C, 67th Ohio Voluntary Infantry (OVI); Lewis Fehliman, Company D, 38th OVI; Henry Kimble, Co. E, 14th OVI; William Kimble, Co. D, 38th OVI; William Lawrence, Co. F, 48th OVI; Andrew Meek, Co. E, 14th OVI and Joseph Murray, Co. L, 10th Regiment OVI are now honored as they should be.
About Post 60, Wityk said, “For many years there were lots of us, still about 50 members, but for some reason, the younger generation has not taken to joining up with us. At this point, there are only about eight of us active and the youngest one is 70 years old!”
Post 60 is celebrating 100 years of being an active part of the community of Stryker, with a large banner hanging on the front of the building, and plans to have a celebration in August of this year. They were chartered on Aug. 12, 1919, with 15 charter members and held their meetings above the J.R. Hoffman Shoe Store.
For all these years they have done flag presentations, lead parades, celebrated Memorial Day with a program to honor the fallen, held Bingo nights, breakfasts and dinners, as well as been involved in community action. The building has been very helpful for the community, also, at one point hosting the Chamber of Commerce, Stryker Heritage Council and most recently the Youth for Christ Center known as The Loft.
August 10, 2019 will be the day of Celebration, beginning with an open building, with memorabilia and snacks, for the public to come and go from 9 a.m. till 2:30 p.m. There will be a display shown of many soldiers from this area. Special guests will be there during the day to chat with those who come through.
At 4:30 there will be a private ceremony, for registered guests only, which will include a social hour, dinner and speakers. Wityk is hoping that Representative Bob Latta, some of the leaders from the veterans administration, county leaders, and others will be there to celebrate this momentous occasion. All will be given an opportunity to speak. Wityk said with passion that recognition for this American Legion Post which has kept going for 100 years is important and added that he hopes it will go for many more.
Wytik is looking forward to the event, and added, “It will be nice. I am hoping for 75-100 people for the closed part, and that many will come to browse during the day hours.”
Rebecca can be reached at email@example.com
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