Memorial Day events set around the county

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Memorial Day will be observed nationally on May 26. Several local organizations have scheduled events on and around this date to honor military veterans.

United Veterans (London)

On May 19, members of the United Veterans Organization will place flags on veterans’ graves in London. Participating entities include Amvets Chapter 19, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1176, Disabled Americans Chapter 93, American Legion Post 105 and Vietnam Veterans Chapter 746.

On May 25, veterans will perform services at Paint Township Cemetery at 1 p.m., Deercreek-Lafayette Cemetery at 2:15, and Somerford Cemetery at 3 p.m.

On May 26, veterans and members of the London High School band will assemble at 10 a.m. at the entrance to Oak Hill Cemetery. A ceremony will start at 10:15 at the statue in the cemetery.

The veterans and band will perform another ceremony at 11 a.m. on the Madison County Courthouse square. Steven Rodgers, pastor of First United Methodist Church in London, will be the speaker.

The final tribute will take place at Kirkwood Cemetery following the courthouse program. Afterwards, veterans, their families and guests are invited to an open house at American Legion Post 105. Refreshments will be served.

Mount Sterling

American Legion Post 417 invites volunteers to place flags on veterans’ graves at Pleasant Cemetery in Mount Sterling at 6 p.m. May 22.

At 10 a.m. on May 26, the Legion will host a ceremony at the cemetery. Partici-pants are asked to arrive at the cemetery gate at 9:30. Dortha Ross, associate pastor of Mount Sterling First Church of the Nazarene, will be the speaker. A second ceremony will follow at the Methodist Church cemetery.

The Mount Sterling Community Museum, located in the lower level of Mount Sterling Library, will host its third annual Remembrance Day from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 24. Period music will be played, and cookies and punch will be served. A PBS video, "Perilous Fight," will be played on the library’s new projection screen. The DVD centers around color film footage from World War II.

Community members have donated or lent military uniforms and artifacts to the museum for a veterans-themed display. The display will stay up from May 19 through the end of June. The museum is open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays.

Plain City

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3268 is organizing a parade to celebrate Memorial Day on May 26. Anyone who wants to participate is encouraged to decorate accordingly and line up at 9:30 a.m. at Plain City Elementary School. The parade will step off at 10, proceed east on Main Street, then south on Chillicothe Street to Forest Grove Cemetery.

Major General Charles E. Stenner Jr. will speak at the cemetery ceremony. Stenner, a 1968 graduate of Jonathan Alder, is assigned to the Pentagon as a member of the U.S. Air Force.

For details, call 614-873-4735.

West Jefferson

American Legion Post 201’s plans for Memorial Day include decorating veterans’ graves from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 17 in West Jefferson’s five cemeteries: Blair Road, Calvary, Foster Chapel, Hampton and Pleasant Hill.

From 7 to 9 a.m. May 26, the Legion invites all Madison County veterans, law enforcement personnel and their families to a free breakfast to be served at the post, 9701 W. Broad St.

The Legion will hold Memorial Day services at 10:30 a.m. at the new Sts. Simon and Jude Church, 9350 High Free Pike, West Jefferson. Father Bob Kits-miller will speak. People of all denominations are welcome to attend.

At noon, the Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7005 will hold memorial services at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Dr. Michael Chakeres will be the speaker.

A retired optometrist from London,, Chakeres was commander of the American Legion of Ohio during the term 1966-67 and served a two-year term as an alternate national executive committeeman.

He served as a Navy Frogman during World War II, was sent to college while in service, and completed his education upon his discharge. He attended the University of North Carolina, Emory University at Atlanta, Ga., The Ohio State University, and Illinois College of Optometry.

Chakeres first joined the Legion in Gary, Ind., in 1946 and became a member of Madison Post 105 in London in 1953.  He was elected three times as post commander and, between those terms, served in the top offices of the Sixth District, which includes seven central Ohio counties.  In addition to his year as commander, he served as vice commander of the state organization for two years.

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