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John Hunter (nearest) and the rest of the American Legion honor guard ready themselves for the annual salute outside Taylorsville Cemetery. Photo by Meg Upton

American Legion leads Memorial Day ceremonies throughout Indian Valley

By Meg Upton

     With a borrowed bugle from the National Guard in Medford, Oregon and borrowed shotguns instead of rifles (the American Legion’s bugle and rifles burned in the Dixie Fire), the American Legion Post 568 soldiered on to deliver a short ceremony of honor and remembrance at five of the cemeteries circling Indian Valley where service members are buried.

     The day began at 10 a.m. at the small green patch of Greenville Cemetery flanked on all side by clear cuts of burnt hillside with John Banks welcoming those coming to hear the brief ceremonies and Marj Goosey, who is now serving as chaplain, delivering a prayer. Bank read remarks regarding Memorial Day written by President Biden, followed by shots fired by the American Legion honor guard.

     Next it was on to the private Gorbet Cemetery off of Pioneer Road where Kristi Gorbet welcomed the American Legion and guests.

     Following the stop at the Gorbets was a similar ceremony at the Crescent Mills cemetery along with a gorgeous view of Indian Valley not seen by many people.

     The entourage of cars and trucks next caravanned to the Taylorsville Cemetery where residents of Taylorsville also came out for the ceremony to honor their veterans of war as well. The Merino family cemetery is directly above the Taylorsville Cemetery and remarks were said to honor those buried there as well.

     Lastly, the American Legion and guests headed to the Chico Jim Cemetery off North Valley Road where they were greeted by members of the Mullen family and the Savala family among others to pay respects to those interred there and to repeat the ceremony of remarks, prayers, honor guard salutes.

     John Banks invited everyone from the Legion and those in attendance at each cemetery to a tri-tip luncheon on the site of the American Legion post which burned down in the Dixie Fire. The luncheon was sponsored by the Legion but also saw many Rotary Club members there in support as the Rotary was announcing their Community Member of the Year Award at the luncheon (see next article).

     Many residents and visitors joined the Rotary and Legion members for lunch including congressman Doug LaMalfa.

American Legion chaplain Marj Goosey and Post Commander John Banks begin the ceremony in front of the Gorbet Cemetery. Photo by Meg Upton
The Gorbet Cemetery looks over a section of Indian Valley that few get to see. Photo by Meg Upton
Grave sites of veterans are decorated for Memorial Day in Indian Valley. Photo by Meg Upton
A bugle is borrowed from the Medford, Oregon National Guard to play at the day’s festivities at the Crescent Mills Cemetery. Photo by Meg Upton

Chico Jim Cemetery on North Valley Road houses many Native American veterans. Photo by Meg Upton

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