John Wareham/News Members of the Fredericktown American Legion fire during the 21-gun salute portion of Memorial Day ceremonies.

John Wareham/News
Members of the Fredericktown American Legion fire during the 21-gun salute portion of Memorial Day ceremonies.

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FREDERICKTOWN – The Fredericktown American Legion presented its Memorial Day event Monday morning, which included a short parade and culminated with two speakers, laying of wreaths and a 21-gun salute.

The event started at the square, where Dave Merrin of the American Legion spoke and introduced the Rev. Joe Beran, who is a veteran and now minister, who gave a prayer.

Beran is a native of Bucyrus who enlisted in the Ohio Air National Guard in 1966, joining the 179th Airlift Wing, then known as the 179th Tactical Air Command, and was involved until 1972.

He began a career in law enforcement while still in the guard and served on the Bucyrus police force until his retirement in 1996.

Beran became a minister in 2005. He spoke about the importance of Memorial Day during his talk at the cemetery on Sandusky Street.

“As parents, grandparents and educators, we are obliged to memorize to our youth those courageous men and women who sacrificed their lives for decades to keep our country free,” Beran said. “We can insist that these important American heroes are accurately included in our school curriculum. We must require assurance that these accounts of American history are told to our future generations.”

Merrin also spoke at the cemetery, prior to Beran, and introduced the laying of the wreaths, conducted by Gold Star Families, the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary.

After the ceremony concluded, Merrin spoke about what Memorial Day meant to him.

“(Memorial Day) means a lot,” Merrin said. “It’s probably the only reason why the American Legion exists in Fredericktown. So we can carry on this thing here. It gets harder every year because everyone’s getting old and dying. It’s just a way to honor those who gave their all.”

The parade had a sizable crowd marching along with the Fredericktown High School Marching Band and with members of the fire and EMS departments driving the route in emergency vehicles.

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John Wareham: 740-397-5333 or john.wareham@mountvernonnews.com and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews