(Posted May 22, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Memorial Day ceremonies are taking place throughout Madison County.
• Range Township
Range Township will hold Memorial Day services at 3 p.m. May 28, the day before Memorial Day, at Range Township Cemetery. Gerald Baynes, a U.S. Navy veteran, is the guest speaker. Readings and vocal performances are planned.
• South Solon
The South Solon Community Organization is organizing a Memorial Day parade honoring fallen soldiers for their commitment to the country and legacy of patriotism and sacrifice. The parade is set for 2 p.m. May 29. The route runs from Community Park to South Solon Cemetery.
The Springfield Detachment of the Marine Corp League will lead the parade, followed by the Madison-Plains High School marching band led by Andrew Lawrence.
A short ceremony will take place at the entrance to the cemetery. The mayor will recognize veteran Ronnie Farrell as the parade grand marshal. Rev. Jonathan Morris of South Charleston United Methodist Church will speak. The Marines will follow with a 21-gun salute and “Taps.”
• Plain City
Plain City American Legion Post 248 and the Village of Plain City are hosting Memorial Day services on May 29. The celebration begins with a parade forming at 9 a.m. at Pastime Park. Step-off is at 10 a.m.
The parade will proceed south on Chillicothe Street, make a stop at Darby Township Cemetery, then continue south to Cemetery Pike. Wreaths will be dropped into Darby Creek from the Cemetery Pike bridge before the parade moves on to Forest Grove Cemetery where the main ceremony will take place.
The Jonathan Alder High School band will perform. A moment of silence will be observed for prisoners of war and military personnel who are missing in action.
The guest speaker is Col. Homer C. Rogers Jr., a retiree of the U.S. Army and Ohio Army National Guard with a total of 30 years of service. He currently serves as commander of American Legion Post 248 and is a member of the Madison County Veterans Service Commission.
American Legion Post 105 will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m. May 29 at the veterans memorial on the Madison County Courthouse lawn in London. Susan Thompson, a member of Legion Post 105 and superintendent of the Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities, is the guest speaker. A gun salute will end the ceremony. The public is welcome to attend.
• Mount Sterling
Mount Sterling American Legion Post 417 will host a Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. May 29 at Pleasant Cemetery. Those who plan to participate are asked to assemble at the cemetery at 9:30. The Madison-Plains High School band will perform. Wes Pierce, Post 417 commander, will say a few words. Pastor Phil Starr of Mount Sterling Nazarene Church is the guest speaker.
Following the ceremony at the cemetery, a short service will take place at Veterans Memorial Park across from Mount Sterling Town Hall.
Prior to Memorial Day, Legion members will place flags on veterans graves at 6 p.m. May 25 at the cemetery. The public is invited to help.
• West Jefferson
American Legion Post 201 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005 and their auxiliaries invite the public to attend a Memorial Day ceremony at 12 p.m. May 29 at Pleasant Hill Cemetery, West Jefferson. The Legion’s honor guard will provide a three-volley salute with rifles. The VFW will provide the color guard.
Danny Eakins, a 1994 West Jefferson graduate, 1998 Miami University graduate, and member of West Jefferson’s Legion and VFW posts, is the guest speaker.
Eakins enlisted in the United States Army after the Sept. 11 attacks on Washington D.C. and New York City. In 2005, he was deployed to Iraq as a platoon leader with the 2nd Battalion, 34th Armor Regiment, where he led more than 300 combat patrol missions. He later joined the Ohio National Guard where he served as a company commander and battalion executive officer in the 16th Engineer Brigade.
Eakins has served as a veteran and military community advocate with the State of Ohio for 15 years.