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1:19 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Mengarelli: Time to remember one of Prescott’s original Hometown Heroes

Lt. Ernest A. Love is pictured in one of the planes he flew during World War I. Love Field — the Prescott airport is named in his honor. (Sharlot Hall Museum/Courtesy)

Lt. Ernest A. Love is pictured in one of the planes he flew during World War I. Love Field — the Prescott airport is named in his honor. (Sharlot Hall Museum/Courtesy)

It’s hard to believe, but 100 years ago, a great war raged in Europe — World War I, the War to End All Wars. Prescott had many sons fighting in the war, with little or no incident. In September 1918, Ernest A. Love died in captivity, at the age of 26, from wounds that he sustained in aerial combat over France.

He was an Army pilot, paving the way for future aviators. Ernest was a graduate of Prescott High School, where he was a football standout. Following his death, the American Legion, Post 6, was formed, and was named after him. In 1928, the new airport in Prescott was built. Today, it bears his name — Ernest A. Love Field.

He was a true hometown hero, and for the next few months, Prescott will honor and remember him with a series of educational and social activities, that we are affectionately calling “Ernest A. Love Days.”

I am pleased to share with you some events and activities in September and October that will commemorate Ernest A. Love:

• For the month of September, there will be a special display of E. A. Love artifacts and photos at the Prescott Public Library, curated by Melissa Ruffner.

• On Sept. 17 at 6 p.m., the American Legion will host a reception in honor of E. A. Love at Matt’s Saloon. This

event is free for all adults to attend.

• During the week of Oct. 1-4, noted author and historian Alan Roesler, will give a series of talks about E. A. Love. Dates and times are to be announced.

• On Oct. 4, there will be a VIP Reception for E.A. Love at the American Legion from 3:30 to 6 p.m.

• Then on Oct. 4 at 6 p.m. the City of Prescott, the American Legion and the Chamber of Commerce will host a reception in honor of E.A. Love. There will be period costumes, music food and drink. Tickets will be available from the Chamber of Commerce.

• On Oct. 6 there will be an aerial reenactment of the fateful dogfight between E.A. Love and the German pilot, at the Wings Out West airshow. This is a free event, open to the public.

• There will be a Prescott High School football game on Oct. 19, which will be dedicated to E.A. Love.

• The Veteran’s Day Parade will include recognition of E.A. Love, and will conclude the official celebration.

• We will conclude E.A. Love Days at the Veteran’s Day Parade on Nov. 10.

• In addition, Sharlot Hall Museum has a WWI exhibit going on now, featuring E.A. Love.

We hope you will join in celebrating and honoring Prescott’s hometown hero, Ernest A. Love. For information, visit the City of Prescott website, Prescott-AZ.gov.

Greg Mengarelli is the mayor of the City of Prescott.