Northwest Ohio set to celebrate Memorial Day

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To honor and remember those who have died in our nation's service, numerous Memorial Day events will be held throughout the area.

Services kick off Saturday at 10 a.m. at Riverview Memory Gardens, 29231 County Road 424, rural Defiance. Speaker is Tanya Brunner, benefits counselor from the Veterans Affair Office of Defiance County.

The ceremony features the VFW Post 3360 Honor Guard, which will provide the color guard, chaplain, firing squad and playing of taps. A memorial wreath will be placed to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the country. Vocalist Natalie Castillo of Defiance High School will also perform.

The traditional Memorial Day parade in Defiance begins Monday at 9:30 a.m. It will step off at South Clinton and Williams streets, just south of the railroad viaduct. Parade participants will assemble on Williams Street in the Latty's Grove area.

The parade and subsequent service are sponsored by Herbert E. Anderson American Legion Post 117, VFW Post 3360, Welcome Home Chapter 954 of the Vietnam Veterans of America and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 36.

The Defiance High School marching band, under the direction of Cathy Booth, will make its annual appearance in the parade. Grand marshal is Al Schnitz, a World War II veteran who has been involved in graveside services for the past 46 years.

The service at Riverside Cemetery will start at approximately 10 a.m. County veterans service officer Mike Williams will deliver opening remarks and Rev. Robert Jencks will present the invocation, followed by the posting of colors by the color guard and the playing of the national anthem by the DHS band.

Mayor Bob Armstrong will give the welcome and a memorial wreath will be placed by JoAnn McCray of VFW 3360 Auxiliary and Tom Kent of the VVA Welcome Home Chapter 954.

Guest speaker is Tabby Mowell of Archbold, a retired U.S. Army Specialist 4 who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Sean Eitnier, an Eagle scout from Boy Scout Troop 75, the son of Brian and Kristi Eitnier, will read the Gettysburg Address. The poem "I Am Your Flag" will be read by Madison Bloomfield of Junior Girl Scout Troop 10388. She is the daughter of Brian and Rana Bloomfield.

The military rifle salute will be given by the firing squad. The service concludes with taps, the benediction by Jencks and retiring of colors by the color guard.

In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held inside Defiance Community Auditorium at 10 a.m.

The Herman Hesselschwardt Detachment 758 of the Marine Corps League will hold ceremonies Monday at Brunersburg Cemetery on Christy Road beginning at 9 a.m., followed immediately by the service.

Guest speaker is Defiance Assistant Police Chief Jeff Mack. The Tinora High School marching band, under the direction of Brett Benzin, will play the national anthem and other musical accompaniment.

The service will be conducted by Jeff Gee, Detachment 758 commandant; and Nick Hill, detachment chaplain. Commemorative wreaths will be placed by Gee and members of the Noble Township Fire Department. Hill will deliver the invocation. Detachment members will provide the color guard, rifle detail and three volley rifle salute.

Refreshments will be served at the Noble Fire Department in Brunersburg following the service. In the event of rain, services will be held at the fire department.

At noon, Marine Corps League members will hold a remembrance service at St. Michael's Catholic Cemetery, 05480 Moser Road, to remember the detachment's namesake, Herman Aloysius "Alphabet" Hesselschwardt, who was killed in Vietnam.

Other area Memorial Day events include:

DEFIANCE COUNTY

Ayersville

Service: The program will begin at 9 a.m. starting with a parade from the school to the Highland Township Fire Department on Watson Road, where the service will begin. Brad Morrison, who retired from the U.S. Navy, will be the guest speaker. Music will be provided by the Ayersville High School marching band. Participating will be the AMVETS Post 1991. The post will also hold a meal featuring bean soup and sandwiches.

Farmer

Service: The ceremony will be held by Farmer American Legion Post 137 at the Farmer Cemetery at 9 a.m. Music will be provided by the Fairview Apache Band. Guest speaker will be Ted Mathes, Bryan, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam war. He served in the 1st Infantry Division and went to Vietnam for 13 months before he was injured. He received the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Army Commendation Medal. Following the service, refreshments will be served at the Farmer American Legion post.

Hicksville

Service: The parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the American Legion hall. Units will assemble at the legion parking lot at 9:30 a.m. The parade route is down West High Street to North Main Street, ending at Forest Home Cemetery for a memorial service. The parade will include Hicksville Police, Defiance County Sheriff's Office, American Legion with colors and guards, firing squad, veterans and Legion auxiliary, VFW auxiliary, Eagles, Masonic Lodge, HHS Marching Aces, scouts and fire and rescue.

Pastor Jerald Tear of First Church of Christ will deliver remarks at memorial service. Rides will be provided for veterans who want to travel in parade to the memorial service. The service will be held at Hicksville school commons area in case of rain.

Jewell

Service: The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. at Independence United Methodist Church, conducted by Jewell American Legion Post 635 and its auxiliary. Independence Pastor Lora Clark will be the guest speaker. Tinora High School band will play a few selections.

Dinner: A light lunch will follow at Jewell Community Center, Independence Road, sponsored by the Jewell Legion Auxiliary. The public is invited.

Ney

Service: The ceremony will be held by Ney American Legion Post 680 and Sherwood VFW Post 5665 at 9 a.m. at Moats Cemetery, Sherwood, and 11 a.m. at Ney Cemetery, with a potluck to follow at the Ney American Legion hall. The ladies auxiliary will provide sandwiches.

Sherwood

Service: The ceremony will be held by Sherwood VFW Post 5665 and Ney American Legion Post 680. Ceremonies will be held at 9 a.m. at Moats Cemetery and 11 a.m. at Ney Cemetery. Sherwood VFW Post 5665 will hold another ceremony at St. Isadore at The Bend at 10 a.m.

The parade will be held in Sherwood beginning at noon. The parade route extends from village firehouse to Sherwood Cemetery and include VFW, color guard, Fairview High School band and scouts. Lt. Chris Rosebrock will speak at the ceremony. In case of rain, ceremonies will be held at VFW hall. A lunch will follow at the VFW hall at 1 p.m.

HENRY COUNTY

Deshler

Parade: The parade will start at 9 a.m. from the Village Park, down Main Street to the Veterans Memorial.

Service: Immediately following the parade at the Veterans Memorial at the American Legion post on Stearns Avenue. The guest speaker will be Past Commander Mike Morman. The Patrick Henry High School band is also scheduled to perform.

Florida

Service: 10 a.m.

Dinner: The fire department and St. Peter Lutheran Church will be hosting a barbecue dinner after services at the fire station.

Hamler

Service: Hamler American Legion Post 262 will hold a ceremony at 11 a.m. at the legion hall. Patrick Henry High School band will also perform.

Dinner: A chicken barbecue will be held at the legion hall following services.

Holgate

Service: Holgate American Legion Post 340 will present its annual program at the Holgate High School beginning at 7 p.m. The main speaker will be Jason Walls of Emanuel's Christian Church, New Bavaria. The Holgate High School Band will also perform.

Liberty Center

Parade: The procession will begin at 10:15 a.m. from North East Street and Ohio 109 to Young's Cemetery.

Services: The service get underway at 9:30 a.m. at Heath Cemetery, near Colton, conducted by the Liberty Center VFW Post 6596; and 10:30 a.m. at Young's Cemetery, conducted by Liberty Center American Legion Post 492.

Dinner: Following the service, a chicken barbecue will be held at the VFW hall, located at Ohio 109 and Young Street, for a freewill donation.

Napoleon

Parade: The procession will begin at 10 a.m. from the Henry County Fairgrounds to the Perry Street/Ohio 108 bridge. The parade will proceed to the middle of the Maumee River bridge for a brief ceremony honoring those who were lost at sea. From there it will move on to the Henry County War Memorial on East Washington Street for the main ceremony.

Service: The program will be at the Henry County Veterans Memorial following the parade. A prayer will be offered by Pastor Peter Marcis of St. Paul Lutheran Church. The main speaker will be Pastor Gary Malone of the Apostolic Christian Center. Other participants will include the Napoleon High School Band, Shriners Corvair unit, city and county dignitaries, scout units, Post 300 Legion riders, and the Apostolic Christian Center Choir. Memorial Day events are jointly sponsored by Bert G. Taylor American Legion Post 300, Luther R. Kolbe VFW Post 8218, Arthur Dan Peterson AMVETS Post 1313 and Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30. In case of rain, the program will be held at Luther R. Koble VFW Post 8218.

Luncheon: After the service, free limited refreshments will be served at the Luther R. Kolbe VFW Post 8218 on North Perry Street and music will be provided by the Napoleon Community Band.

Ridgeville Township

Service: 10:30 a.m. at the Ridgeville American Legion. The guest speaker will be Capt. Timothy T. Oswald, chaplain, Fort Commander, Naval Service Forces Atlantic. The Ridgeville Community Choir and Archbold High School band will perform.

Dinner: A freewill offering chicken barbecue sponsored by Sons of the Legion will follow the service at the legion hall.

PAULDING COUNTY

Antwerp

Parade: Lineup at 9:30 a.m. at the Antwerp VFW Post. The parade, including the local high school band, firefighters, scouts, the VFW and the American Legion, will start at 10 a.m. and travel to Riverside Park, where memorial services will be held. Speaker will be Johnathan Liechty of the Paulding Veterans' Service Center. Refreshments and lunch will be served afterward at VFW post.

Cecil

Service: The program will begin at 9 a.m. at Rochester Park, conducted by Paulding VFW Post 587.

Grover Hill

Breakfast: From 7-10 a.m., a pancake and sausage breakfast will be held at the Grover Hill VFW post. Carryouts are available. A freewill offering will be accepted.

Service: The program will begin at 11 a.m. at the veterans monument at Middle Creek Cemetery, sponsored by Grover Hill VFW Post 2873 and its auxiliary. Speaker is Mark Waldron. Also participating will be the Wayne Trace High School band.

Oakwood

Parade: A parade will be held following the 10 a.m. program by third-graders at Oakwood Elementary School, from school to the park along the Auglaize River.

Service: Services will follow the school program at the park, conducted by Oakwood American Legion post. Refreshments will be at the American Legion building following the service.

Paulding

Service: The program will be at 11 a.m. at Live Oaks Cemetery, conducted by the Paulding VFW Post 587. There will be a color guard. Paulding High School band and Paulding High School quartet will also perform. There will be hot dogs and other food for VFW officials and spouses at the VFW after the ceremony.

Payne

Breakfast: Payne American Legion Post 297 will host a breakfast for veterans at 7 a.m.

Parade: The procession will begin at 9:30 a.m. from Divine Word Catholic Church to the legion post. The Wayne Trace band will perform.

Service: The ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. at Wiltsie Cemetery. Guest speaker is Father John Stites. Luncheon: Individuals are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. The legion will host a noon luncheon for Payne-area veterans, auxiliary, Sons of the Legion and their families. The post will furnish the meat and attendees should bring a covered dish and their own silverware.

FULTON COUNTY

Archbold

Service: The program will be at 9:30 a.m. at Knights of Columbus hall on West Lutz Road, conducted by Archbold American Legion, Buehrer-Lauber-Weckesser Post 311. Guest speaker will be Capt. Roy Poor, a F-16 fighter pilot from the 112th Fighter Squadron. Archbold High School band will also perform. The service will be followed by a pancake and sausage breakfast by Boy Scout Troop 63.

Pettisville

Service: The ceremony will be at the cemetery at 11 a.m. In case of inclement weather it will be in the high school gym. Services are conducted by Archbold American Legion, Buehrer-Lauber-Weckesser Post 311. Guest speaker is Danny Dymarkowski. Pettisville High School band is also participating.

Wauseon

Breakfast: The Brethren of Masonic Lodge 349 will have a pancake and sausage breakfast from 8-9 a.m. with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior project.

Parade: The procession will be at 9:30 a.m. from city hall, west on Elm Street and ending at Union Cemetery.

Service: The ceremony will be at approximately 10 a.m., conducted by Robinson-Gibbs American Legion Post 265. Guest speaker will be retired Major Gen. J. Ronald Bowman. Wauseon High School Band and Wauseon High School Chorale will also perform. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held in the high school auditorium at 10 a.m. Following services, the Sons of the American Legion will have a chicken barbecue at the post.

PUTNAM COUNTY

Cloverdale

Service: The program will be at 10 a.m., conducted by the Continental American Legion, at the memorial flower garden on Mahoning Street. Joe Moenter with the Putnam County Veterans Service Office will be the guest speaker.

Continental

Service: The ceremony will be at 11:15 a.m. at the American Legion post. Music will be provided by the Continental High School Band. The guest speaker will be Joe Moenter from the Putnam County Veterans Service Office.

Breakfast/lunch: Legionnaires, their spouses and the spouses of deceased Legion members are invited to a breakfast from 8-9:15 a.m. at the Legion, as well as a lunch following the service in Continental.

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