American Legion hosts Memorial Day in Scottsdale, AZ

Thomas P Smith, American Legion Post 44 Historian

June 6, 2024  

Over 80 people braved the Scottsdale heat to celebrate Memorial Day 2024 with members of the American Legion Post 44.  The celebration took place at Scottsdale’s “Memorial for the Fallen.”  The memorial is dedicated to the sixty-six Scottsdale residents (to include the native American community) who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Post 44 Outgoing Commander (Randy Amos) was the ceremony’s host with our Incoming Commander (Ron Smith) reading the general orders issued in 1868 by John Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.  A group of Union Army veterans, designating May 30 of that year a day for “strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.”

Participants were fortunate to have remarks and reflections shared by Congressman David Schweikert and Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega.  

The Legion Color Guard posted the American and Arizona flags and performed a Gun Salute.  In addition, we had a bagpipe player lead us through a solemn Amazing Grace. 

During the ceremony, the Legion Auxiliary President (Kandy Wagenbach) also placed a wreath and red, white and blue flowers at the base of the memorial.

“We have joined together here for many years, as you know, to honor our fallen veterans and we appreciate your patriotism in joining us,” said American Legion Post 44 Commander Randy Amos.

As we reflect upon the service and sacrifice of millions of Americans who served in our nation’s armed forces, we can stand with pride and respect.  For without their sacrifice, we might not have the opportunity to gather as we have today to honor them.  It is such a small gesture to place a flag or a flower on the resting place of these fallen heroes, but it is a major statement of our appreciation and dedication that not only will we not forget, but we will retain the lessons learned during these wars. They were only with us for a short time. We remain forever grateful. May God’s light shine upon you. We will never forget.

At the close of the ceremony, Commander Randy Amos invited participates (members or not) to join us at American Legion Post 44 for food, drinks and live music.