With the eighth anniversary of the loss of Perry’s very own, Josh Davis, the following day, family and friends gathered on Sunday, May 6 to honor him and tell stories of his short life.

Joshua M. Davis was a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps. Davis graduated from Perry High School in 2009 and joined the Corps shortly after. He was killed in action in Afghanistan on May 7, 2010. Davis is buried at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter.

Various people and organizations have stepped up to honor Davis over the years and this year is no exception. In 2010, after Josh’s death, his classmates in the Perry High School Class of 2009, created a memorial on school property. Just west of the high school and north of the football field, a rock was placed with landscaping around it. A plaque is mounted on the rock to honor Josh.

Since 2010, the landscaping at “The Rock” had been tended by the high school custodial crew until last year when a few members of the Josh Davis Memorial Poker Run volunteered to keep the memorial weed free. This year the Perry Pathfinders 4-H Club volunteered to do the dirty work and were out in force on Sunday to get a start on the spring weeds.

According to Pathfinders leader Kendra Woehl, the club was looking for a service project and this seemed the perfect fit. The Perry group currently has seven enrolled members.

The Josh Davis Memorial Poker Run will hold its eighth annual motorcycle run on Aug. 11 this year. Money from the run is used to fund two awards that are given out to two Perry graduating high school seniors in Josh’s memory. In years past, donations have also been made to other organizations including Puppy Jake Foundation, Perry DARE, Perry Skills USA, Patriot Guard Riders, Wreaths Across America, Marine Graduation Foundation and many, many more.

Davis gave the ultimate sacrifice while protecting our freedom. It’s fitting that so many others give back to keep his memory alive.