GROVE CITY – On Oct. 3, the Cpl. Claire Van Eman Grove City VFW Post 519 celebrated their 100th anniversary. The Post was established on October 6, 1920, in memory of Cpl. Claire Van Eman, of Grove City, who had given his life in the service our country during World War I. Cpl. Van Eman was in the 5th Marine Regiment, 2nd Division. He was killed in action on June 6, 1918, at the Battle of Belleau Wood. The Battle of Belleau Wood is a historical battle in Marine lore. He is buried in the Aisne-Marne Cemetery in France with his fallen comrades.
The 100th Anniversary Celebration was led by Post Commander, Ben Lewis, with historical details provided by Post Adjutant, Jim McClelland. During the ceremony, various dignitaries presented awards and proclamations to Commander Lewis. The VFW District Commander, Jim Brown, presented the VFW Century Award. Shelly Oakes, State Representative Tim Bonner’s representative, presented a State Citation from Representative Bonner. Randy Riddle, the Mayor of Grove City Borough, presented a proclamation from the Mayor’s Office proclaiming Oct. 3, 2020, as VFW Day in Grove City.
The celebration also included the presentation of custom 100th Anniversary coins to those in attendance. The coins were distributed by Commander Ben Lewis, and Senior Vice President, Milan Mijatov. The Post’s oldest living member, Dallas Schull, a World War II veteran, was in attendance, and was the first to be presented with his coin by Commander Lewis. After the closing of the Anniversary Celebration, all in attendance enjoyed a catered meal from Family Traditions.
Both the Cpl. Claire Van Eman Grove City VFW Post 519 and the Post 519 Auxiliary are very active in the Grove City community. Various patriotic and chartable activities take place at the Post and in the surrounding area, with monies raised going to help our veterans and other local organizations in need. These activities include participating on July 4th and Memorial Day celebrations, Christmas gifts for veterans, children’s Christmas parties, posting flags in the cemeteries, Poppy Sales, funeral and fund-raising dinners, among others. It’s been a busy 100 years, with plans for another 100 years of helping others just getting started.