American Legion Post #9, in conjunction with McFarland Historic State Park and the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce, celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the GI Bill of Rights, and the accomplishments of Ernest W. McFarland,  in historic Florence, Arizona.


The community event featured a parade on Main Street and a Ceremony of Celebration to honor the McFarland family and the American Legion.


Honored Guests and Speakers


With gratitude to U.S. House Representative Paul Gosar's Office, Barry Wong, Executive Director of the Governor's Office of Equal Opportunity, Frank Pratt, State Senator District 8, T.J. Shope, Jr., Arizona House Representative, Tara Walter, Mayor of Florence, Steve Aguirre, Arizona Commander of the American Legion, Lewis "Gene" Wood, Arizona Commander of the VFW, John D. Lewis, grandson of Ernest McFarland, Warrant Officer Al Gramando, US Army, (ret.), Richard Jackman, Staff Sgt.  Rodney Mendoza, US Marines (ret.), Leanna DeKing, Arizona State Approving Agency Director, Bob Broscheid, Director of Arizona State Parks & Trails and emcee, Palmer Miller.


Special thanks to the Town of Florence, VFW Post 3713 in Coolidge, AZ, VFW Mounted Color Guard, the MCJROTC Color Guard of Casa Grande, CW4 Harold Lindamood, US Army, Evie Clair, Cadet Captain Rachel Kiesel, Poston Butte High School Band, Imagine School “Singing Eagles” and Drum Corps (Chris Steward, Director), Desert Song Community Choir (Julie Martin, Director), the Historic Florence Women’s Club, Pinal County Historical Museum, Garrett Motors of Coolidge, AZ, Estrella Mountain Community College, American Family Insurance (Ty Schraufnagel Agency), Florence Copper, and CoreCivic.