Centralia SINA hears about Marion County Soldiers and Sailors Reunion

August 9, 2019

By Tina Suarez

The Southern Illinois Networking Association met at the Centralia Recreation Complex on August 1. President Mike Chambers called the meeting to order with the Pledge and Prayer.

A short round table was conducted with the members of SINA on what events are happening around the community.

President Chambers introduced the speaker for the day. The featured speaker was Mark Decker, who spoke about the Marion County Soldiers and Sailors Reunion. This program will be held on October 4-6, 2019. Come out to the Bryan Bennett park for a great family-friendly weekend.

On October 4, there will be a veterans dinner. For tickets you can call the Salem American Legion. This is a great way to honor our veterans.

They are also celebrating the 100th anniversary of the American Legion — September 19, 1919. Another special anniversary is the 75th anniversary of the G.I. Bill of Rights — June 22, 1944.

In 1883, veterans of the American Civil War began a reunion in Marion County under the guide of the Grand Army of the G.A.R. The reunion lasted for 102 years until 1985. During that time it was held in various communities around Marion County and grew to a week-long festival with carnival rides, games, and entertainment every night.

In conjunction with the Illinois Bicentennial in 2018, a group of citizens, including members of the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, Sons of the American Legion, Daughters of the American Revolution, Sons of the American Revolution, Disabled American Veterans, Salem Off Fellows Lodge #114, Marion County Genealogical and Historical Society and the Salem Historical Commission organized the return of “The Reunion” with the generous support of the Salem Tourism Board and the City of Salem. This three-day celebration of veterans is our way of saying thank you for the freedoms we enjoy.

The reunion has a great tradition of recognizing a veteran by naming the “Camp” in their honor. In 2019 we are proud to announce “Camp Lt. Col. Ronald J. Hall” as the designated honoree. Ron Hall served as Commander of the American Legion Post 128 in the 1960’s and again in the 1990’s.

There will be three days of honoring our veterans, October 4, 5, and 6.

There is an opportunity to support this program of honoring the veterans by purchasing an ad in the program booklet. You can also take an ad for your loved one. They also offer badges and key chains that contain your loved one’s picture and information. For all information regarding this program please call 618-420-3489 or 618-548-0128.

For more information about SINA contact Tina Suarez 618-214-0836.

Submitted Photo