MIDDLEPORT — For as many Memorial Days as I can remember, I have noticed a group of gentlemen clad in militant uniform traveling around the town. The crowds surrounding them were solemn, honor secreting from their pores. The gentlemen demonstrated a choreographed routine with rifles.
Through a young one’s eyes, they can simply watch and envision the purpose of such an activity. Once finally faced with the opportunity to speak with those gentlemen, one must be able to answer, “Do you know the meaning of Memorial Day?”
For the American Legion Post 128 understanding the meaning of Memorial Day is understanding their practices.
They are a group of veterans who display their respect for their fallen brothers of war at 10 sites in Meigs County — Middleport levy, Middleport Riverview Cemetery, Bradford Cemetery, Middleport Hill Cemetery, Addison Cemetery, Chesire Gravel Hill Cemetary, Middleport Gravel Hill Cemetery, Stewart/Bennett Park Middleport, Howell Hill Cemetery, and Burlingham Cemetery.
When I asked two of the gentlemen participating in the salute about the significance of Stewart/Bennett park in Middleport, they both directed me towards the sign located at the front of the park. Jimmy G. Stewart and Edward A. Bennett were both Medal of Honor recipients. Stewart fought in the Vietnam war and was a citizen of Middleport. Bennett fought in World War II. The park is home to signature pieces of weaponry used in World I, World War II, and the Civil War.
Each destination on the Veterans’ path had its own unique story, but shared one common theme — “honor to our fallen soldiers. “
Erin Perkins is a freelance writer for The Daily Sentinel.