Meigs marks Memorial Day ceremonies

By Lorna Hart -

MEIGS COUNTY — Rick Baker, of the U.S. Army, opened with the question,”Was it worth it?” as he stood Monday before a group who had gathered at Racine Memorial Park for a Memorial Day tribute at American Legion Post 602.

“It is not for us to decide, it is for the young men and women who have lost their lives. We can’t presume to speak for the fallen, but we can make the world a better place,” he said. “We can commit ourselves to making patriotism trump politics, we can make sure their sacrifice is not forgotten. We should reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day. Without our military, the world would be a darker place. We should be willing to keep our country worthy of their sacrifice. We should make it worth it on this 150th anniversary of Memorial Day.”

Ceremonies began with a flag-raising and a performance by the Southern High School Band before moving inside to the Legion Hall. Refreshments were served at the memorial’s end. Earlier in the week, members of Post 602 had placed flags on the graves of service men and women in Letart Falls, Plants and Greenwood cemeteries.

Feeney-Bennett American Legion Post 128 in Middleport began Memorial Day tributes early at Middleport Levee. The group then visited Riverview Cemetery, Bradford Cemetery, Hill Cemetery, Addison Cemetery, Cheshire Gravel Hill Cemetery, Middleport Gravel Hill Cemetery and Stewart-Bennett Park and Howell Hill Cemetery. Their final tribute was held at Burlingham Cemetery.

Just across the small gravel road, Burlingham Church had just concluded their 126th Memorial Day service.

“All gave some and some gave all” was a reminder from Meigs Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans Dale Thorne, guest speaker at Drew Webster American Legion Post 39 Memorial Day ceremony, of why we observe Memorial Day in the United States.

He said that when asked why we celebrate Memorial Day, there are many answers, most of them were not relevant to the meaning of the day. Some answer that it is the beginning of summer vacation, a time for cookouts and the end of school.

The Post 39 had spent the morning with tributes beginning at Rockspring Cemetery, Beech Grove Cemetery, Sacred Heart Cemetery and the Bridge of Honor (Pomeroy-Mason Bridge) before congregating at the Pomeroy Levee for noon memorial services.

Those in attendance heard songs performed by the Southern High School Marching Band under the direction of Chad Dodson.

Pastor Dennis Moore, of Common Ground Missions, gave both the opening and closing prayers of the ceremony and a welcome was given by Post 39 Commander John Hood.

Moore advised the crowd that had gathered that for some, Memorial Day “can be a day of severe grief.”

Gladys Cumings, a member of the American Legion, Drew Webster Auxiliary 39, read a poem entitled “In Flanders Fields.”

The service ended with the Laying of the Wreath into the Ohio River in honor of all sailors and Marines lost at sea in the naval campaigns in World War II. The laying of the wreath was followed by the Honor Guard Rifle Salute and Taps.

Post 39 members then went to Meigs Memory Gardens, Chester and Hemlock Grove Cemetery to conclude their day’s ceremonies.

These groups of American Legion and American Legion Auxiliary members all emphasized both by words and actions the importance of honoring those Americans who have given their lives in service to their country, well as all veterans both living and deceased.

Contact Lorna Hart at 740-992-2155, Ext.2551

By Lorna Hart