What a great day, starting with the morning worship dedicated to veterans everywhere. Veterans of Liberty United Methodist and attending veteran guests were honored by a roll call of service. Thank you to the ladies of the church for providing the luncheon following the service. The rededication of Memorial Hall and service to commemorate 75 years of fellowship included a moment to honor all the Liberty community veterans of the period.

The Roll of Honor, maintained in a glass front case near the dedication plaque, includes the names, branch of service and theater for over 100 men who left there families, homes, community and country to answer the call to serve during the Second World War. Due to minor water damage at some point in the past, the complete list of names will be posted at a later date.

Memorial Hall, begun in 1948, was constructed as a community center for the Liberty area and dedicated to honor the young men from Liberty, Arizona lost during WWII, named on the dedication plaque.

Thank you to all who accepted our invitation to join us for the Celebration and Remembrance. We want to thank the DeMuth family in particular for attending. Members of the church for decades, Barbara DeMuth and her husband, were beloved members of the congregation. Her daughter, Lynn, shared these memories:

“I mostly remember ham dinners in the hall. The food was plentiful to say the least! Hams, huge platters of scalloped potatoes (these were a Barbara DeMuth special), jello salad with fruit and marshmallows, dinner rolls, and pies and cakes. I remember the food was served at that time on beautiful blue glass plates with a scalloped edge and real silverware…

My brother remembers Christmas parties in the hall. Each child received a lunch-sized paper bag containing an orange, a Red Delicious apple, some hard striped candy (and maybe a candy cane too?), and some nuts. I mostly remember Brazil nuts.”

Lynn also remembers crossing the street from the Liberty school to attend meeting with her Girl Scout Troop, Junior Troop # 1308 and Cadets Troop # 294, led by her mother, Barbara. After each meeting they would stand in the yard between the hall and the church with linked arms and sing a closing song.

Lynn also shared an encounter she recently had, “I met a man who lived as a very young child in Liberty proper (near what was then the parsonage). It turns out that he is the grandson of John and Loretta Beloat. The Beloats were among the original settlers of Liberty, setting up a ranch south of there. We rattled off several shared acquaintances and memories. It was his grandpa (Mr. Beloat) who was known as the “gum man” because after every Liberty UMC church service, he would had each child a piece of Juicy Fruit gum. Never any other flavor! We always looked forward to that.”