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  • Gerry Brandt

Another great cruise-in



(Sunday's Cruise-In at the Fairbury Speedway is shown / via Gerry Brandt)

The Fairbury American Legion John Joda Post #54 held its 13th annual Veterans Memorial Cruise In at the Fairbury Speedway/Fairgrounds last Sunday.


The Cruise In was started in 2009 as a fundraising event so the Post could purchase grave markers to help identify and honor our fallen Veterans in the local Fairbury area cemeteries including Graceland, Avoca, St John's Catholic cemetery and now Graceland South as well as for funding the replacement of the small graveside Flags and helping the VFW maintain the larger Flags.


There is no "entry" fee for the cars and no admission fee for anyone coming in to view the event. All the funds raised at the Cruise through the sales of Brats, Hot Dogs, Pizza donated by Marchellonis and beverage sales as well as donations, go into a Memorial fund to be used strictly for Veterans Memorial purposes.


Since its inception and with the generous support of the attendees we have been able to purchase and maintain approximately 700 grave markers and our annual Flag needs. We have also through some matching donations been able to purchase the sound system that we use at the Memorial Day service.


This year mother nature did not cooperate with our originally scheduled June date so we rescheduled for July 9 and couldn't have asked for better weather. We had 60 vehicles officially signed in but with people coming and going throughout the afternoon we estimated our total count at around 80 vehicles. Last year after the passing of two of our local Veterans, Jim Smith and John Luttrell, who were both key to our Cruise in and members of our Honor Guard we, the joint Fairbury American Legion and Fairbury VFW Honor Guard, decided to include an Honor Guard Service with the National Anthem, a 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps as part of our event.


The respect and appreciation shown by everyone in attendance cannot be overstated.


All in all, it's a great event to be a part of or come out and see and we'd like to encourage everyone to come visit us next year for a relaxing and enjoyable afternoon.


(Submitted by Gerry Brandt, Legion Post Commander)

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