Memorial Day in Groveport

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove
Members of the American Legion Robert Dutro Post 486 rifle squad pray at the beginning of the Memorial Day ceremony held in the Groveport Cemetery on May 31.

The Memorial Day ceremony in Groveport was again scaled back this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, however, the event maintained its traditional dignity and spirit.

Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp (front), Motts Military Museum Director Warren Motts (middle), and American Legion Robert Dutro Post 486 Chaplain Brad Beatty (rear), reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

The ceremony’s keynote speaker was Motts Military Museum Director Warren Motts, who brought the meaning of Memorial Day home by talking about its local connections.

Motts Military Museum Director Warren Motts was the keynote speaker at the Memorial Day ceremony in Groveport.

Wars are fought on a large scale involving nations and thousands, sometimes millions, of military personnel. But each one of those soldiers, sailors, and airmen have a family and a hometown. Each one, and the sacrifice they made, is important.

Pickerington Central High School senior Alexander Poth performed “Taps” at the end of the ceremony.

As American flags softly fluttered above the many graves of local veterans in Groveport Cemetery, Motts said, “We must always remember the fallen.”

Mayor Lance Westcamp recited the names of the 12 veterans who will appear on the “Veterans Banners,” which will be placed along Main Street at various intersections. The banners will be in place from Memorial Day to Veterans Day and then be given to the veterans’ families.

Motts mentioned Lima Company, a company of United States Marines operating out of the nearby Rickenbacker Air National Guard base. He said Lima Company lost 23 Marines and one U.S. Navy Corpsman in the Iraq War.

Groveport Police Chief Casey Adams talks with Motts Military Museum Director Warren Motts prior to the start of the ceremony.

“We must remember all the men and women who served our country and never forget the price they paid for our freedoms,” said Motts.

Groveport Mayor Lance Westcamp also spoke and recognized the 12 local veterans whose images will appear on the “Veterans Banners” that will be placed on Main Street at various intersections from Memorial Day to Veterans Day.

The American flag flies above the grave of a veteran in the Groveport Cemetery.

“These are our hometown heroes,” said Westcamp of the Groveport community’s many veterans.

The 12 veterans who will appear on this year’s banners are: William Butsch, Richard Featherston, Brent Fridley, Anne Gillen, Mary Ellen Miller, Mayson Newman, Clifford Nutter, Paul Raver III, Robert Ruetsch, Riley Sedwick, Raymond Southall, Jr., and William Stoots.

Westcamp also stated that he hopes next year’s Memorial Day ceremony will be open to the public and return to normal with the traditional parade procession to Groveport Cemetery without COVID restrictions.

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