POMEROY — An impressive program on Civil War days by reenactors Fred and Jacquelyn Smith of Youngstown highlighted the annual Memorial Day service at the Civil War monument on the Meigs County Courthouse lawn Saturday.
The Smiths travel extensively telling the story of colored soldiers who served in the Civil War, those who wanted to fight for freedom but were refused the opportunity because of their race, the battle hardships endured by those who did serve,, and the many who died in that war.
The two gave recitations from the works of Negro Poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar who is credited with being the first American Negro to show the high poetic quality of his people.
Smith, a direct descendant of a Civil War soldier, spoke of the importance of tracing one’s ancestors and the benefits it brings in the way of understanding the life and times of earlier generations. He emphasized the importance of “keeping the memory of those who fought alive.”
Jean Hilton emceed the program opening with a musical salute to the military. Kila Frank of the Daniel McCook Circle 1804 of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic read “The Voice of Memorial Day,” a story of the life and death of a soldier fighting for freedom and his wish to be remembered not as a hero but as a champion of freedom and democracy for the greatest nation on earth. He called for Americans to never forget the sacrifices made and to do as so many others have “always defend democracy.” The material was written by Charles E. Morris of Oklahoma who served in Vietnam.
Wreaths were placed at the monument by Frank, Alan Holter of Brooks-Grant Camp of the Sons of Union Soldiers , and Dale Colburn of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Hilton related a story of Irene Triplett, the elderly wife of a Civil War veteran who, she said, still receives a government pension for his service.
Under the leadership of the visiting reenactors, the group sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic to close the Memorial Day service.
A luncheon at the Meigs County Historical Society was served following the observance.