Courtesy photo Ken Curto carries the American Flag during a high school assembly for VFW.

Courtesy photo
Ken Curto carries the American Flag during a high school assembly for VFW.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars in Ely will be holding an annual ceremony on Memorial Day in front of the White Pine District Court House at 11 a.m. Honoring those who have fallen while their country has become a tradition hosted by the VFW.  Commander of the post Ed Sturges wants to get the word out that there is a lot more going on to commemorate local and national heroes.

“We are here to help the veterans, more than anything,” Sturges said.

Between raffles, barbecues and school programs, Struges’s time as the Commander of the VFW post has been spent trying to reach out to the community.

“We are open to the public. People can come in, see what we are doing and make donations to the programs,” Sturges said.

Over the years, Sturges has found that sometimes it doesn’t take anything more than a conversation to help someone.

“They help you out when you need it,” Sturges said. “For those guys to stay a part of it, it’s to just have someone to talk to. Sometimes I just sit there and talk to people just because they need to talk.”

According to the VFW’s historian and former Marine Don XXX, the post will be expanding to the triangular lot next to it.

“We are going to put up a memorial of some kind in July,” Don said.

With help from County Commissioner Richard Howe, the memorial will serve as yet another reminder to the sacrifices made by those who have served and their family members.

And those family members are not forgoten by Sturges.

“Sometimes we have people come in that haven’t served, but they had family who served, and I want them to know that they are just as welcome here,” the Commander said.

According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, Memorial Day has been celebrated ever since 1868.