Lexington American Legion to Execute 21 Gun Salute
Lexington’s American Legion Post 6 will host a Memorial Service this Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. on the Square. They will perform a 21 gun salute in honor of Memorial Day. The public is invited to attend.
The seven-man riffle team will be directed by Leonard Seifert, Vice Commander of the Post. A musical tribute will include patriotic songs and a bugler presentation of “To the Colors” and “Taps” by Bill Morris.
The Post Chaplin, Leif Hasskarl, will also say a few words.
A member of the Post said, “The Lexington American Legion’s 21 gun salute is to honor those who gave their all – The True Heroes – Our Fallen Comrades.”
The 21-gun salute became the highest honor a nation rendered. Today, the national salute of 21 guns is fired in honor of a national flag, the sovereign or chief of state of a foreign nation, a member of a reigning royal family, and the President, ex-President, and President-elect of the United States. It is also fired at noon of the day of the funeral of a President, ex-President, or President-elect, on Washington’s Birthday, Presidents Day, and the Fourth of July.
On Memorial Day, a salute of 21 minute guns is fired while the flag is flown at half mast.
Fifty guns are also fired on all military installations equipped to do so at the close of the day of the funeral of a President, ex- President, or President-elect.
The tradition of rendering a salute by cannon originated in the 14th century as firearms and cannons came into use. Since these early devices contained only one projectile, discharging them once rendered them ineffective. Originally warships fired seven-gun salutes—the number seven probably selected because of its astrological and Biblical significance. Seven planets had been identified and the phases of the moon changed every seven days. The Bible states that God rested on the seventh day after Creation, that every seventh year was sabbatical and that the seven times seventh year ushered in the Jubilee year.
This short program will last less than 30 minutes that they hope will become an annual event for their Post for many years to come.