Several communities in the Mid-Ohio Valley will be celebrating Memorial Day with parades and ceremonies during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
One ceremony in Parkersburg will be held May 25 and three programs in Parkersburg and Ravenswood will be May 26. Most other programs in the area will be held on Memorial Day.
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Members of American Legion Post 495 conduct the rifle salute during last year’s annual Belpre Memorial Day Service. (File Photo)
On May 25, the 55th annual Memorial Ceremony at Sunset Memory Gardens on West Virginia 95 in south Parkersburg will begin at 11 a.m.
The program will feature patriotic music, a flag raising, wreath laying, a rifle salute and "Taps," among other activities featuring representatives from various veterans organizations and Sunset. There will also be a roll call of deceased veterans between Memorial Day 2012 and Memorial Day 2013.
On May 26, a Memorial Day celebration will be 2 p.m. May 26 at St. Xavier Catholic Cemetery at 14 and Dillaway streets in Parkersburg
The celebration honors Capt. Michael Egan and other Civil War soldiers in a joint program by the Wood County Historical Society and St. Xavier Catholic Church.
Mayor Bob Newell is schedule to speak at the program, with the presentation of colors by the Knights of Columbus. The historical society will be represented by Bob Enoch and Mary Jo Blythe and the church will be represented by historian Roger Nedeff. Blythe will give a roll call of Civil War veterans interred in the cemetery.
Local historian Robert Newman will be the guest speaker at the program, speaking about recently rediscovered information about Egan, who died in 1888 and was buried in the Catholic cemetery.
On May 27, American Legion Post 15 will begin its day with the posting of the colors and a breakfast at 8 a.m. at the post headquarters at 2505 Ohio Ave. in the traffic circle.
A full Memorial Day service will be at 10 a.m. at Parkersburg City Park with posting of the colors, speakers, "Taps," a rifle salute and the laying of a wreath. The names of area veterans who have died since the last Memorial Day will be read.
The Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley will be open as usual on Memorial Day from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at its location at 1829 Seventh St. in Parkersburg.
The museum will also be holding a "Thank Our Veterans Cookout" from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. that day at the City Park picnic shelter next to the pond for any veterans and their families at City Park. The museum and other sponsors are supplying food and are asking those who wish to bring a covered dish.
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Two Memorial Day services will be held in Ravenswood on May 26 in honor and remembrance of those who have died.
The first ceremony is set to begin at 1 p.m. May 26 at the old ferry landing in Ravenswood and is sponsored by the Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6669. The ceremony, which was originally started by a group called the Navy Mothers, is held each year to honor the Navy dead.
The ceremony will include the advancement of the colors, a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner," speakers, the National Anthem and a rifle salute. To conclude the ceremony, auxiliary members will lay flowers on the water in honor of the Navy dead.
The second ceremony will be 2 p.m. May 26 at Ravenswood Cemetery. Sponsored by the Jackson County Citizen Band Radio Club, it will feature speakers and county and city officials along with representatives from law enforcement agencies and local veterans groups as special guests at the ceremony.
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In Marietta, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion will be sponsoring parades on May 27 to honor the military veterans who who have died in service.
Each parade will feature local high school bands, local veterans groups and community organizations and local politicians. A memorial service, with rifle salutes and other honors, will be given at the end of each event.
VFW Post 5108 will hold the first program beginning at Harmar Elementary School. After lining up at 7:30 a.m., the parade will start at 8 a.m. from the school and end at Harmar Cemetery, where a 20-minute program will be held in honor of fallen soldiers.
From the cemetery, the crowd will walk to the Putnam Street Bridge. Another rifle salute will be given for fallen Marine and Navy personnel lost at sea and a flower wreath will be thrown into the Muskingum River.
Also in Marietta, the parade organized by AL Post 64 will begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. May 27 on Front Street next to East Muskingum Park. The parade will start at 10 a.m. and follow a route along Putnam Street, Fifth Street, Wooster Street and Eighth Street.
During the parade, the units will stop at Mound Cemetery for a brief ceremony.
The final stop will be a ceremony in Oak Grove Cemetery at Eighth and Wooster streets to commemorate those who have passed since the last Memorial Day. There will be a speaker and during the program the names of soldiers who have died since Memorial Day 2012 will be read aloud.
The program will include a rifle salute and the reading of the Gettysburg Address and General Logan's orders, which were given during the Civil War and proclaimed Memorial Day. The speaker will be Bob Sinnett.
There will be a flag retirement ceremony at AL Post 64 Home, also at Eighth and Wooster streets, following the ceremony. Anyone with old or worn American flags can bring them to the post for proper disposal. There is a mailbox in the post's lower parking lot where flags can be left at any time during the year.
Lunch will be served at the post following the ceremony and the flag retirement ceremony. VFW Post 5108 will also hold a luncheon following the parades at its location on Pike Street.
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In Williamstown, American Legion Post 159 will hold a parade from Tomlinson Park to Riverview Cemetery on May 27 at 9:30 a.m. A ceremony honoring deceased veterans will be held at the cemetery with speakers. There will also be a wreath-laying, a rifle salute and "Taps."
Following the memorial ceremony, everyone is invited to return to the post building on Central Avenue to honor recently deceased post members and for a flag disposal ceremony. Following all ceremonies, a lunch and open house will be held for everyone in attendance.
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In Belpre, the annual Memorial Day program will be 11 a.m. May 27 at Leavitt Funeral Home in Belpre, at the flagpole and veterans memorial dedicated in 2007 by the funeral home to veterans who have received services there.
The event is organized by American Legion Post 495 and the Ladies Auxiliary in Belpre and will feature several speakers, including Lt. Col Jay Offenberger. There will be a laying of a wreath, a rifle salute and the playing of "Taps" during the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. in the post at 100 Washington Blvd, below the Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge.
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In Beverly and Waterford, the annual Memorial Day Parade sponsored by American Legion Post 389 will begin at 9 a.m. May 27 at Fort Frye High School with the lineup beginning at 8:30 a.m. Following a brief ceremony at the veterans memorial near the high school, the parade will go along Ohio 60 to the Beverly Cemetery where a memorial ceremony will be held for the veterans buried in the cemetery.
The parade will then move toward Waterford on the other side of the Muskingum River. The parade units will stop for a few minutes on the Beverly-Waterford Bridge while a wreathe and flowers are thrown in the river to honor naval veterans. The parade will end at the Waterford Cemetery with another ceremony for veterans.
Dave Jackson, past district commander of the American Legion, will serve as speaker at both ceremonies. Following the parade, participants are encouraged to join American Legion Post 389 in Beverly for breakfast.
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In Lowell, American Legion Post 750 will hold its annual Lowell Memorial Parade at 10:30 a.m. May 27 at the Lowell-Adams Volunteer Fire Department. The parade will include visits to the Lowell Veterans Monument, the German Cemetery, Cats Creek Bridge and Greenlawn Cemetery where ceremonies will be held.
Prior to the parade, the post will hold a program at 7:45 a.m. at Our Lady Mercy Church and then attend Mass.
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In Ripley, the Jackson County Veterans Memorial Day Service will begin at 10:30 a.m. May 27 on the Jackson County Courthouse lawn with the posting of the guard and a POW/MIA ceremony by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 107.
At 11 a.m., there will be the posting of the colors, the national anthem and other opening ceremonies. There will be speaker, the presentation of patriotic medals, "Taps," a rifle ceremony, wreath laying and other activities during the ceremony.
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New Matamoras VFW Post 6387 will hold its annual Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. May 27 with a wreath throwing at the Ohio River, followed by a rifle salute at Peoples Savings Bank and a service at Ferguson Park in New Matamoras. Brief services will begin at Muskingum Valley Church Cemetery at 1 p.m. and move on to other area cemeteries.