Remembering the fallen

Tracy American Legion Commander Dave Dieter and Marj Kosse lay wreaths on crosses to conclude Monday’s Memorial Day service in Tracy. Photo / Per Peterson

Monday’s Memorial Day service in Tracy was an especially solemn one, as the Tracy American Legion Earle Ray Post 173 remembered the late Harley Wahl, who died at 2:30 a.m. on Saturday. Wahl was the Post’s Commander for the last 10 years.

Wahl’s successor, Dave Dieter did the honors of emceeing Monday’s ceremony in place of Wahl.

“Harley was a member of the Tracy American Legion for about 65 years, the last 10 as Commander,” Dieter said. “I just recently joined the Legion, and Harley was one of the first guys I met. We quickly became friends. I also lost another Legion friend, Jans Visker, who passed in March, so I’ve lost two good friends in the short time I’ve been here. I’ll miss them both; rest in peace, guys.”

This year’s Memorial Day presentation was given by Sgt. 1st Class Tonya Eichner, a 19-year service member, who has had two tours of duty, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Memorial Day offers us the opportunity to honor and remember the men and women of our military who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country,” Eichner said. “As we reflect upon this day, we must remember that it is granted to us by the most noble, selfless and courageous men and women this country has produced. Today, we remember those who laid down their lives in defense of this great nation.”

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