Editor: April 2 marks the 129th anniversary of the birth of John Lyon, a son of Arlington who made the ultimate sacrifice on a World War I battlefield.
In 1915, soon after war broke out in Europe, Lyon went to Belgium and drove ambulances for the Red Cross and the Canadian Army. He returned home about six months later, joined the U. S. Army and was assigned to the 29th Infantry Division.
When the U.S. entered the war in 1917, Lyon deployed to France, where he experienced considerable combat as part of the American Expeditionary Force.
On Oct. 15, 1918, near Damogneux, France during the attack on the Bois De La Grande Monagne, Lt. Lyon left a place of comparative safety to cross an open space, exposed to direct observation and enemy fire, to attempt the rescue of a wounded officer. He and two other soldiers who accompanied him were mortally wounded. He is buried in the Lyon family plot at Historic Blandford Church in Petersburg.
For his heroism at Damogneux, the Army posthumously awarded Lt. Lyon the Distinguished Service Cross, its second highest award for valor.
A memorial to Lt. Lyon – and several others – stands on the grounds of the Cherrydale Health and Rehabilitation Center. He is the namesake of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 3150, which keeps his memory alive with a wreath-laying ceremony at this site each Memorial Day and Veterans Day. We invite the public to join us at these events.
Nancy Springer, Arlington
Springer is commander of John Lyon VFW Post 3150.