The Lawton-Silva Post 1002 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars is celebrating its 100th year anniversary on Nov. 19 at its hall on 405 S. Maine St., in Fallon.
The opening ceremony begins at 2 p.m., and it’s free.
Included in the afternoon’s celebration are a carnival, food for purchase, an auction, a raffle, and historical exhibits. Members from all branches of service currently belong to the VFW.
Since Nov. 16, 1922, the local VFW chapter has provided a century of service to Fallon and the Lahontan Valley community. Fallon Mayor Ken Tedford has been invited to present a proclamation plaque, while Fallon businesswoman and city council member Karla Kent also will attend. Her great-grandfather, Ira Kent, was a charter member along with 32 other Churchill County men who served overseas in military conflict.
The VFW’s purpose was — and still is – an organization to help veterans who fought overseas, the military, and communities. The VFW is the country’s largest and oldest war veterans service organization.
Fallon was a small community with a population of 1,758 when the post was chartered. Churchill County, which had a population of 4,649 at the turn of the decade, became known more for its agricultural and green fields of alfalfa and crops than any other commodity.
The dedication of a new VFW hall on the busiest street in downtown Fallon, though, didn’t occur until 23 years later near the end of World War II. The March 21, 1945, Fallon Standard said dedication ceremonies for the new hall “took place on Sunday (March 18) with the Nevada department commander, Harry S. Wagner of Winnemucca, as a participant in the ceremony which included the raising of a flag which had been presented by Mrs. Cordelia Brotherson.
The post is named after two soldiers, one who died in World War II, and the who died in the Philippines.
Pvt. Alexander Silva of Fallon was killed in battle on July 18, 1918, in France. The 20-year-old soldier was born in Portugal before coming to the United States. He enlisted in the Army in Fallon on Sept. 5, 1917.
During his service, the Army assigned Silva to two different infantry companies after he arrived in Europe on July 18, 1918, the first day of the Aisne-Marne offensive.
A total of five military men from Churchill County died during World War I; George C. Davis, James Hall, George L. McCall, Charles McCarthy, and Alexander Silva.
After the Civil War, Army Gen. Henry Lawton rose through the ranks, beginning as a second lieutenant with the 41st infantry to general at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War. Lawton died on Dec. 15, 1899, in the Philippines when a bullet struck him in the chest.
Lawton, a popular Army officer who was deeply mourned by both the Army and the civilian population, is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
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