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

Services kick off Saturday at 10 a.m. at Riverview Memory Gardens, 29231 County Road 424, rural Defiance.

Trish Speiser will serve as master of ceremonies and guest speaker for the event.

The ceremony will feature Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 36 members, including commander David Pollock (state chaplain for the State of Ohio DAV), who will give the invocation and benediction. VFW Post 3360 honor guard members will provide the color guard and firing squad.

A memorial wreath will be placed by DAV Chapter 36 members to remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The Oakwood Community Band will perform, under the direction of Chris Helle. U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Quentin Stover, a Defiance High School graduate, will perform “Taps.”

On May 20, volunteers placed flags at the grave sites of veterans buried at Riverview Memory Garden.

The traditional Memorial Day program begins Monday at 10 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery and is 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.

Mayor Mike McCann will give the opening remarks, with Pastor Dave Brobston, a former Army chaplain, presenting the invocation.

There will be the posting of colors by the VFW Post 3360 honor guard. The St. Paul Lutheran choir will sing the national anthem, played by the Defiance High School Band of Class, under the direction of Cathy Booth.

McCann will give the welcome, and memorial wreaths will be placed by JoAnn McCray, VFW 3360 Auxiliary past president and Ed McCray, past commander of VFW Post 3360.

Kaleb Ankney, from Boy Scout Troop 315, and the son of Christopher and Clarissa Ankney, will read the Gettysburg Address. The poem “I Am Your Flag” will be read by Leah Adkins of Girl Scout from Troop 10105, who is the daughter of David and Ellie Adkins.

The DHS band will perform “God Bless America,” followed by McCann introducing this year’s speaker, Capt. Benjamin Pierce.

The DHS Band will then perform “God Bless the USA,” with the military rifle salute given by the VFW Color Guard. The service concludes with “Taps” by the DHS band, the benediction by Brobston, closing remarks by McCann, the retiring of colors by the color guard and the playing of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipe by Eric Hubbard.

The DHS band will play beginning patriotic music beginning at 9:45 a.m. prior to the program. In case of bad weather, the program will be held at the Defiance Community Auditorium.

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

Guest speaker is Ohio 82nd House District Rep. Craig Riedel of Defiance. The Tinora High School Marching Band, under the direction of Colleen Crayton, will play the national anthem and other musical accompaniment.

The service will be conducted by Burdette Cooper, Detachment 758 commandant. Chaplain Nick Hill will deliver the invocation. Commemorative wreaths will be placed by members of the detachment and members of the Noble Township Fire Department. Detachment members will provide the color guard, rifle detail and rifle salute.

Joining in the ceremony will be members of Girl Scout Cadette Troop 10155, under the direction of troop leaders, Kristy Keefer and Amanda Westrick. Following the flag raising, the Girl Scouts will lead the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Girl Scout Emily Keefer will read “The Flag,” which was written by Brenda Griffith of Defiance for Flag Day in 1983. Girl Scout Erica Ahmed will read the patriotic poem “When the Regiment Came Back” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Refreshments will be served at the Noble Township 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. The public is welcome to attend.

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, 27723 Watson Road, where the service will begin with opening remarks by Rev. Ron Monteith. Guest speaker is Brad Morrison, a retired U.S. Navy veteran. Music will be provided by the Ayersville High School Marching Band. Participating will be AMVETS Post 1991 and Ladies Auxiliary, Sons of AMVETS, Boy Scout Troop 141 and Highland and South Richland fire departments.

Dinner: Defiance AMVETS Post 1991, 1795 Spruce St., will hold a meal featuring bean soup and sandwiches following the service.

Farmer

Service: The Farmer American Legion will hold a memorial service at 9 a.m. at Farmer Cemetery, with Major Sean Cooney (retired), a former Green Beret from Columbus as the speaker.

Reception: Following the service at the Farmer American Legion hall.

Hicksville

Parade: 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. Scheduled parade participants include: Hicksville Police Department, Defiance County Sheriff’s Office, American flag auxiliary, post colors and guards, firing squad, American Legion and veterans, Sons of the Legion, Legion auxiliary, Eagles, Knights of Columbus, Hicksville High School Marching Aces, Scouts and Hicksville Volunteer Fire Department/EMS.

Service: The program will follow at the cemetery immediately after the parade. Marine Corps League Defiance Post 758 member Ray Dailey will deliver the message. In case of rain, the program will take place at the Hicksville school commons.

Jewell

Service: The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. at St. Michael’s Ridge, conducted by Jewell American Legion Post 635 and its auxiliary. Guest speaker will be Father John Stites. Tinora High School band will play a few selections. The service will be held at the church in the event of inclement weather. The public is invited to a free lunch at Jewell Community Center following the service.

Ney

Service: The Ney American Legion will hold a joint memorial service with Sherwood VFW at 9 a.m. at Moats Cemetery. A separate ceremony will be held at 11 a.m. at Ney Cemetery. The guest speaker will be Chris Mack of Ney American Legion, and the Fairview High School Band will perform.

Luncheon: A potluck luncheon will be held at the legion hall following the ceremony.

Sherwood

Services: The Sherwood VFW Post will hold a joint memorial service with the Ney American Legion at 9 a.m. at Moats Cemetery. Sherwood VFW also will hold ceremonies at St. Stephen’s Cemetery on The Bend Road at 10 a.m. At 11 a.m. Sherwood VFW will hold joint services with Ney American Legion at Ney Cemetery where the Fairview High School band will perform. Services will also take place at 12:15 p.m. at the Sherwood Cemetery ceremony where Major Sean Cooney (retired), a former Green Beret who resides in Columbus will speak.

Parade: A parade will precede the ceremony in Sherwood, with participants starting at noon at the fire station and ending at the cemetery.

HENRY COUNTY

Deshler

Procession: A procession will begin at 8:30 a.m. at Pirate Park, and travel to the Deshler American Legion Post 316, 505 S. Stearns Ave. A memorial service will be held afterward at the American Legion.

Hamler

Procession: A procession will travel through four area cemeteries beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the Marion Township Cemetery.

Service: A service will follow in downtown Hamler, in front of Hamler American Legion Post 262, 350 Randolph St., beginning at 10 a.m. There will be a guest speaker, and the Patrick Henry High School Band will play.

Lunch: A chicken barbecue lunch will be served at American Legion Post 262 beginning at 11 a.m.

Florida

Service: The South Florida 4H Club will host its annual Memorial Day service beginning at 10 a.m. at the Florida Cemetery, followed by a procession to the river bridge for another brief service. The Napoleon Community Band will play.

Lunch: A chicken barbecue will be held at the Florida Flatrock Volunteer Fire Department, 206 E. High St., beginning at approximately 11 a.m., for a free-will donation.

Holgate

Service: The William F. Helmke American Legion Post 340 will host a Memorial Day service in the cafeteria of Holgate High School, 801 Joe E. Brown Ave., beginning at 7 p.m. The speaker will be Pastor Jim Brown of Pleasant Bend United Methodist Church. The Holgate High School Band will play.

Liberty Center

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

Service: A service will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Heath Cemetery, near Colton. A parade will begin at 10:15 a.m. and start in downtown Liberty Center and proceed to Young Cemetery for an additional service. Those wishing to take part in the parade are asked to be at the elevator before 10 a.m. Services are being conducted by American Legion Post 492 and VFW Post 6596.

Fundraiser: The annual Liberty Center Chicken barbecue dinner fundraiser will be held following the parade at the VFW on Demascus Street. Dine or carryout starts at noon.

Malinta

Service: A memorial service will take place beginning at 11:15 a.m. in front of the war memorial in downtown Malinta.

Napoleon

Service: A service honoring those lost at sea will begin at the boat ramp at 10 a.m. The group will then proceed to the Henry County War Memorial on East Washington Street for the main program. The speaker will be Major Dallen Arny, a distinguished military graduate from Virginia Military Institute and professor of military science at Bowling Green State University. Following the service, free limited refreshments will be served at the American Legion, 500 Glenwood Ave., where the community band will play. In case of rain, the program will take place at the American Legion. The program is sponsored by Luther R. Kolbe VFW Post 8218, Bert G. Taylor American Legion Post 300 and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 30.

Ridgeville Township

Service: The program will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Ridgeville American Legion. The guest speaker will be Capt. Roy Poor, pilot and instructor in the 180th Fighter Pilot Wing, Toledo. Poor started his flying career by taking lessons as a 13-year-old at the Henry County Airport. Poor has logged more than 1,000 hours in the F16 he has served overseas in Iraq, Qatar, Jordan, Estonia and Guam. The Ridgeville Community Choir, Archbold High School band and the area children’s flag drill team will perform. A POW/MIA memorial table presentation will be given. Deceased veteran families of Rudy Norden (World War II), Marlin Wyse (World War II) and Vic Norden (Korea) will have display cases with uniforms. A flyover by the 180th will be held at 11:45 a.m.

Dinner: A free-will offering chicken barbecue will follow the service at the legion hall.

PAULDING COUNTY

Antwerp

Parade: Lineup will begin 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. Refreshments and lunch will be served afterward at the VFW post. The lunch will be open to the public.

Cecil

Service: The program will begin at 9 a.m. at New Rochester Cemetery, conducted by Paulding VFW Post 587. Speaker is Pastor Dwayne Richardson. The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, VFW Post 587 color guard and VFW auxiliary will be taking part.

Grover Hill

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. Also participating will be the Wayne Trace High School band. Guest speaker is Ric Booher. Following services will be pizza for participating band and 4-H members.

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. Opening prayer will be by Pastor Merlyn Winters. There will be a color guard. Paulding High School band also will perform. Guest speaker will be Commissioner Mark Holtsberry. The Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, VFW color guard and auxiliary will be taking part. There will be hot dogs and beans served 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 Mercy Catholic Church to the legion post. Line up for the parade is at 9:15 a.m.

Service: The ceremony will be held following the parade at Lehman Cemetery. Individuals are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Speaker is Pastor Dave Bignal. 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 is Jennifer Norden. Archbold High School band also will perform. The service will be followed by a pancake and sausage breakfast by Boy Scout Troop 63 for a freewill donation.

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 at 11:30 a.m. Services will be conducted by Archbold American Legion, Buehrer-Lauber-Weckesser Post 311, with a welcome by Sara Foor, student council president. The invocation will be by Joshua Bock and guest speaker will be Jennifer Norden. Pettisville High School band also will participating. Wyatt Borer will recite “In Flanders Field” and post the colors. Taps will be by Justice Beck.

Wauseon

Breakfast: A pancake breakfast will be held to benefit Wounded Warriors from 8-9 a.m. at the Masonic Lodge.

Parade: Due to unfit grounds, there will be no parade this year.

Service: The ceremony will be at approximately 10 a.m., conducted by Robinson-Gibbs American Legion Post 265, at the high school auditorium. Guest speaker will be Father Patrick Rohen. The Wauseon High School Band also will perform. 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. and chairs will be available. The service will be conducted by the Continental American Legion at the memorial flower garden on Mahoning Street.

Continental

Service: The ceremony will be at 11:15 a.m. at the south side of the American Legion post. Music will be provided by the Continental High School Band.

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.

Kalida

Service: A Memorial Day Mass will be held at 8 a.m. at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, with a memorial service to following at 9 a.m. at the Pioneer Pavilion. In case of rain, the parade will be cancelled and the memorial service will be held at the fire station.

Ottawa

Parade: A parade will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Main and Perry streets and feature the Kalida and Ottawa-Glandorf high school bands.

Service: A memorial service will be held in front of the courthouse immediately following the parade. In case of rain, the parade will be cancelled and the service will be held in the Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium at Ottawa-Glandorf High School. The Memorial Day observance event is sponsored jointly by the Ottawa American Legion, the Ottawa VFW, the Ottawa AMVETS and the Putnam County Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.

Lunch: The Ottawa VFW will be hosting a chicken barbecue dinner following the memorial service.

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