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Letter: Another service club closes its doors

Each Memorial Day since 2005, my husband and I have gone to our little church in the country to visit my step-dad's grave and to attend the short, albeit important, Memorial Service that the Gilby American Legion Post 118 members are so gracious ...

Each Memorial Day since 2005, my husband and I have gone to our little church in the country to visit my step-dad's grave and to attend the short, albeit important, Memorial Service that the Gilby American Legion Post 118 members are so gracious to conduct each year at all the small towns/churches in the area.

This Memorial Day's ceremony was different. The remaining three members (several passed away this past winter) sadly announced to those in attendance that this would be their last Memorial Day ceremony. The post is disbanding due to lack of membership.

This is indeed a sad day. I will miss the ceremonies each Memorial Day. Yes, we can attend the ones that are in Grand Forks (after all that's where we live) but it just won't be the same because we won't hear the familiar names of the fallen read aloud.

It's a sad day for Gilby's American Legion Post 118, for after 98 years of conducting ceremonies, helping their community and the camaraderie they shared, it will be no more. Sadly, this is happening all over the U.S. and not just in small towns. A lot of service clubs are struggling with membership; the members are getting older and the younger generation, for whatever reason, is not picking up the cause and carrying on for them.

Not all clubs are having this problem, but many are. Yes, the younger generation is very busy with school, jobs, family, etc., but I think in some respects the older generation can share some of the blame, too, by not wanting to change or step aside and let the younger ones take the reins.

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Guide them, don't fight them. Let them make changes, even if it doesn't work out at first. In the long run, change benefits everyone. Step aside and mentor the young generation, help them to make your club stronger and better. After all, they are the future of your club, so help it to thrive.

Good luck and thank you to the members of Gilby's American Legion Post 118. Thank you to all of our veterans, past, present and future.

Lynn Lee

Grand Forks

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