What are you doing for Decoration Day? How about Memorial Day?
Decoration Day is what Memorial Day was once called, and it originally was celebrated on May 30 to decorate the graves of soldiers who died in the U.S. Civil War. During World War I, that ceremony evolved to memorialize the loss of American soldiers in all wars, according to www.history.com.
In 1971, the last Monday of May became a federal holiday, and the three-day weekend has become the start of summer for many. For others, it is a time of reflection to visit a cemetery and place flowers at the tombstones of loved ones.
In and around Delaware County, there will be many events marking Memorial Day.
• Delaware: The Jack Florance Pool at Mingo Park and the Spray and Play splash pad at Veterans Park both open for the season today, May 25. Downtown will be hopping today with the running of the 5th New Moon Half & Quarter Marathon and the Crescent Moon 5K races. City offices are closed Monday, and trash pickup for the week begins on Tuesday.
At 10 a.m. Monday, the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1095 will organize a service to pay tribute to and honor those who died in service to their country at Oak Grove Cemetery, 334 S. Sandusky St.. The service will take place near the Veterans West area. Attendees may gather at the entrance to Oak Grove around 9:30 a.m. and take part in a procession (parade) to the Veterans West area. The procession will be lead by the Delaware Air Force Junior ROTC, with the rear taken up by a rider-less horse (provided by Stockhands for Horses). The main road through the cemetery from the entrance to the west end will be lined with many 3-by-5 American Flags. Attendees may also go directly to the Veterans West area if they are unable to make the walk. The Delaware Air Force Junior ROTC will present the colors and fold the American Flag while doing a reading with an explanation of the folds. Mary Fran Cassidy will lead the crowd in the National Anthem. The 5th Ohio Light Artillery will provide cannon volleys. Judge Henry Shaw will present the Gettysburg Address. Delaware County Commissioner Jeff Benton will provide the key address of the day. VVA 1095 Honor Guard will present a rifle volley followed by taps. The entire service will be under an hour. Feel free to bring a lawn chair.
• Dublin: The City of Dublin, in partnership with the Wesley G. Davids Dublin Post 800 of the American Legion, will host the annual Memorial Day Ceremony starting at 11 a.m. Monday with a procession through Historic Dublin from The Shoppes at River Ridge to Dublin Cemetery with a wreath-throwing ceremony on Bridge Street Bridge.
The Memorial Day Commemoration in Dublin Cemetery is at 11:30 a.m. Bobbie Mershon is the featured speaker for the ceremony in the Dublin Cemetery. Mershon, a Vietnam War veteran, served as a nurse in Long Bien, South Vietnam. After returning home, Mershon worked at Grant Medical Center for 40 years, specializing in peri-anesthesia care, and served as a council person for the City of Canal Winchester for 28 years. Richard Buell CDR, USN (Ret.) will also be speaking at the ceremony. Commander Rick Buell retired on Aug. 1, 2018, after serving 27 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy. He is the Gold Star son of LCDR Kenneth Buell who is remains classified as MIA after his A-6 Intruder was shot down during a nighttime combat mission over North Vietnam in September 1972.
• Galena: Memorial Day Services will take place at 1 p.m. on the Village Square and in the Galena Cemetery on May 27.
• Powell: The 5th Ranger Battalion, Fox Company will hold a World War II Reenactment during Memorial Day weekend. The camp and display will be set up for the public to view today through the afternoon of Monday, May 27, in Village Green Park, 47 Hall St.. The Olentangy Rotary Club is hosting the Field of Flags in Village Green Park throughout Memorial Day weekend. Nearly 100 flags will be placed in Village Green Park to honor fallen heroes.
The City of Powell is hosting the annual Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday, May 27, in downtown Powell. This year’s parade will feature more than 60 units and will begin on Grace Drive and follow west to North Liberty Street. Participants will then travel south on Liberty Street to Olentangy Street, where they will turn right and continue west. The parade ends at the railroad crossing on Olentangy Street. Olentangy, Olentangy Liberty and Olentangy Berlin high school marching bands will be in the parade.
A ceremony will be held immediately following the parade at the Greater Powell Veterans Memorial in Village Green Park, located at 47 Hall St.. The program will include remarks from Mayor Jon Bennehoof and keynote speaker MSGT Bob Burr. Retired Lt. Col. Russ Anible, USAF, and the Delaware County Air Force Junior ROTC, will provide the Color Guard and a flag folding ceremony. The Olentangy Liberty High School Marching Band and bagpiper Deputy Matt Graham will contribute their musical talents. A flag retirement ceremony led by Boy Scout Troop 428 will conclude the ceremony.
New this year, Meadow Park Church – Powell is holding a free Memorial Day Community Picnic immediately following the ceremony in Village Green Park.
• Radnor: Memorial Day events, organized by the Radnor Heritage Society, will begin with a breakfast at the Radnor United Church of Christ from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The Memorial Day Parade will begin at 10 a.m. The parade will culminate with a ceremony at the Radnor Cemetery. The invocation will be given by Phil Roberts. The main speaker will be Dave Chenault, who was in the U.S. Navy for 11 years, was stationed on Mare Island, California, and was discharged in 1977. After his service, he worked in Galion at a manufacturing plant, and in 1984, started his career with the U.S. Postal Service, serving as postmaster in Radnor from 1993 until his retirement in 2010. Teresa Watkins will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Paul Pierce will deliver the Gettysburg Address, and the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Devan Durr. The Buckeye Valley Alumni Band will provide patriotic music and will honor all branches of the Armed Forces during the program. The Radnor Community Chorus, led by David James, will also perform. The benediction will be given by Andrew Beebe, pastor of the Radnor Baptist Church. Following longstanding tradition, at the conclusion of the service, the children attending will place small bundles of flowers across the cemetery on each flag-marked veteran’s grave.
After the cemetery program, A Hog Roast will be held at the Radnor Township Fire Department at 4061 state Route 203. The Radnor Heritage Society’s Museum and Genealogy Center, at the corner of state Route 203 and Radnor Road, will also be open to visitors. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Radnor Historical Museum as well as the 90th birthday celebration of its founder, Ann Robinson Humphreys.
• Sunbury: The home of the Ohio Fallen Heroes Memorial commemorates every Ohio soldier who has bravely given his or her life in service to the USA since 9/11.
Visit the memorial and flea market this Memorial Day from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Village Square. Admission is $1 (free for children 10 & under).
The parade starts at 10 a.m. from Sunbury Village Square (East Cherry Street & North Columbus Street) and goes to Sunbury Cemetery.
• Westerville: On Memorial Day weekend 2019, the Westerville Sunrise Rotary Club will host the 11th Annual Field of Heroes across from the Westerville Community Center on Cleveland Avenue.
The Field of Heroes is a spectacular visual display of 3,000 American flags. The 3-by-5 flags stand 8 feet tall in perfect rows and columns across a field of green. The field is set up so that visitors can walk among the flags, reading dedications and reflecting upon their personal heroes.
The Field of Heroes is a unique opportunity for community members to honor their personal heroes — whoever they are… a family member; a friend; a veteran; a member of the armed services; a favorite teacher; a police officer; a firefighter or any other person who has made an impact on their lives. It is an opportunity for everyone to come together as a community to remember, to honor, and to heal.
Today there will be a Reading of Names, live performances and a concert, and on Sunday, May 26, features include a Memorial Ceremony, and a 5K Run/Walk benefiting Honor Flight Columbus and sponsored by OhioHealth. The Field is illuminated at night through May 26.
Learn more at fieldofheroes.org.
The communities mentioned contributed to this story.