American Legion Honors First Bemidji Native Killed In World War I
The American Legion Post number 14 in Bemidji held a memorial service yesterday to honor their group’s namesake.
Members from the Bemidji Legion surrounded Ralph Gracie’s grave to honor him on the 101st anniversary of his death. Ralph Gracie was the first Bemidji native killed in World War I when his plane was shot down over the North Sea in 1918. His body was recovered by the Germans and they buried him in a German cemetery.
“So, three months later, we found his grave and shipped him back home after a period of time. So, he was actually buried here the next year,” said Bill Pagel, Ralph Gracie Post 14 American Legion Commander.
American Legion Post number 14 holds a service for Gracie every year to commemorate his service.