CENTERBURG — Boy Scouts with Troop 382 bore the flags to lead the Memorial Day Parade up Hartford Avenue to East Lawn Cemetery just outside Centerburg.
The Centerburg High School Marching Band and Girl Scout Troop 1660 marched behind them, with first responders driving ahead and behind to keep everyone safe and represent their support.
By the time the parade arrived at the cemetery there was already a crowd of support gathered for the ceremony. It only grew as those who watched the parade go past trickled in behind it.
After the marching band performed the National Anthem, Reverend Matt Skelton gave the invocation.
Presentation of the Wreath was performed by John and Todd McDavid, and also by the boy scouts. The boy scouts presented three wreaths; two were placed in honor of all veterans and their families, next to the wreath the McDavids placed beside the grave of the unknown soldier. The third was placed on the grave of Dillon Joseph Lanthorn who graduated from Centerburg High School in 2017, joined the Ohio Army National Guard and rose to the rank of Private First Class and died unexpectedly Saturday, Nov. 3, 2018.
Special music was performed at intervals by the marching band and also by the high school’s Middle C Choir.
In his Memorial Day address, Tom Stewart reminded those gathered that this day is set aside to celebrate what those enlisted in our military have done and are doing for us, that we have our freedom because people died for their beliefs. Decoration Day may have started after the Civil War, honoring those who fought to define America, but after the second world war, it grew to encompass all wars.
He emphasized that all of us have a family member or neighbor who died for this country, whether we knew them personally or not, a point he drove home after listing off the number of Americans who gave up their lives per war, starting with the Civil War and ending with Syria.
“Memorial Day is about them. Some were mourned by their families and some were mourned by no one,” Stewart said.
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