To Honor and remember those who have died in the service of our nation, there will be many Memorial Day events taking place in the Six County area.
Services will begin Saturday at 10 a.m. at Riverview Memory Gardens, 29231 County Road 424, Rural Defiance.
Trish Speiser will serve as the emcee, with Defiance Police Chief Todd Shafer as the guest speaker for the event.
The ceremony will feature members of the American Disabled Veterans Chapter 36 (DAV) who will provide the Color Guard, as well as Chaplain David Uetterling, giving the invocation and blessing.
Kari Rosania will play the national anthem on the bagpipe and the closing music at the end of the ceremony.
A commemorative wreath will be placed by the auxiliary members of Chapter 36 of the DAV to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country. The laying of the rose will be handled by Judy Uetterling, Chapter 36 Auxiliary Member of the DAV.
DAV Chapter 36 member Ric Booher will perform “Taps”.
On May 20, volunteers placed flags at the cemeteries of veterans buried at Riverview Memory Garden.
The traditional Memorial Day program begins Monday at 10 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery and is sponsored by Herbert E. Anderson American Legion Post 117, VFW Post 3360, Welcome Home Chapter 954 of the Vietnam Veterans of America, and DAV Chapter 36.
Mayor Mike McCann will deliver the opening address, with Pastor Dave Brobston, a former Army Chaplain, presenting the invocation.
There will be the display of colors by the honor guard of VFW Post 3360. Sofia Castillo, a senior from Defiance High School, will sing the national anthem, played by the Defiance High School Band of Class.
McCann will give the welcome and commemorative wreaths will be laid by Sharon Washington, Assistant President of VFW 3360, and VVA commemorative wreaths placed by Ed McCray, Commanding Officer of VFW Post 3360.
Noah Gears of Boy Scout Troop 77 and son of James and Heather Gears will read the Gettysburg speech. The poem “I am your flag” will be read by Leah Adkins of Girl Scout of Troop 10105, and the daughter of David and Ellie Adkins.
DHS will perform “God Bless America,” followed by McCann introducing this year’s speaker Ryan Mack, Defiance County Commissioner and Purple Heart recipient.
The DHS Band will then play “God Bless the USA”, with the military rifle salute given by the VFW Color Guard. The service ends with “Taps” from the DHS group, Brobston’s blessing, McCann’s closing remarks, the color guard’s removal of the colors and the playing of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipe by Bill Ray.
The DHS group will play patriotic music starting at 9:45 a.m. before the program. In the event of inclement weather, the program will take place at the Defiance Community Auditorium.
Marine Corps League Detachment 758 Herman Hesselschwardt will not host a ceremony this year due to COVID-19.
However, at noon Monday, members of the Marine Corps League will hold a memorial service at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, 05480 Moser Road, in remembrance of the detachment’s namesake, Herman Aloysius “Alphabet” Hesselschwardt, who was killed in Vietnam.
Some regional ceremonies are still not held due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, many ceremonies will take place again this year. Other Memorial Day events include:
Service: The program will begin at 9 a.m. starting with a school parade at the Highland Township Fire Department, 27723 Watson Road, where the service will begin with the opening address by Reverend Ron Monteith. The guest speaker is Brad Morrison, a retired US Navy veteran. Music will be provided by the Ayersville High School Marching Band. Participants will be AMVETS Post 1991 and Ladies Auxiliary, sons of AMVETS, Boy Scout Troop 141 and the Highland and South Richland Fire Departments.
Dinner: Defiance AMVETS Post 1991, 1795 Spruce Street, will hold a meal with bean soup and sandwiches after the service.
Service: The Farmer American Legion will hold a memorial service at 9 a.m. at Farmer Cemetery, with Major Sean Cooney (retired), a former Green Beret from Columbus as the speaker.
Reception: After service at the Farmer American Legion room.
Parade: The parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. in the American Legion Hall. Units will assemble in the Legion parking lot at 9:30 am The parade route descends from West High Street to North Main Street, ending at Forest Home Cemetery for a memorial service. Participants in the scheduled parade include: Hicksville Police Department, Defiance County Sheriff’s Office, American Flag Auxiliary, Colors and Post Guards, Firing Squad, American Legion and Veterans , The Sons of the Legion, The Legion Auxiliary, The Eagles, The Knights of Columbus, Hicksville Marching Aces High School, Scout and Hicksville / EMS Volunteer Fire Department.
Service: The program will follow at the cemetery immediately after the parade. Ray Dailey, member of Marine Corps League Defiance Post 758, will deliver the message. In the event of rain, the program will take place at the Hicksville Common School.
Service: The program will begin at 10:30 am at St. Michael’s Ridge, run by Jewell American Legion Post 635 and his attendant. The guest speaker will be Father John Stites. The group from Tinora High School will play a few selections. The service will take place at the church in inclement weather. The public is invited to a free lunch at the Jewell Community Center after the service.
Service: The Ney American Legion will hold a joint memorial service with Sherwood VFW at 9 a.m. at Moats Cemetery. A separate ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the Ney cemetery. Guest speaker will be Chris Mack of Ney American Legion, and the Fairview High School Band will perform.
Lunch: A potluck lunch will be held in the Legion Hall after the ceremony.
Services: The Sherwood VFW Post will hold a joint memorial service with the Ney American Legion at 9 a.m. at Moats Cemetery. Sherwood VFW will also be holding ceremonies at St. Stephen’s Cemetery on The Bend Road at 10 am. At 11 a.m., Sherwood VFW will hold joint services with Ney American Legion at Ney Cemetery where the Fairview High School Orchestra will perform. Services will also take place at 12:15 p.m. at the Sherwood Cemetery Ceremony where Major Sean Cooney (Retired), a former Green Beret residing in Columbus, will speak.
Parade: A parade will precede the ceremony in Sherwood, with participants starting at noon at the fire hall and ending at the cemetery.
A parade will begin at 9 a.m. at Pirate Park with a service to follow at Deshler American Legion Hall.
Service: A service will be held in downtown Hamler, in front of the Hamler American Legion Post 262, 350 Randolph St., starting at 10 a.m. There will be a guest speaker and the Patrick Henry High School Band will perform.
Lunch: A chicken barbecue lunch will be served at American Legion Post 262 starting at 11 a.m.
Service: The William F. Helmke American Legion Post 340 at Holgate will hold its memorial service on Monday, May 31 at 7:00 p.m. It will be held in the cafeteria of Holgate High School. The speaker will be Pastor Theodore Rellstab from St. John’s Lutheran Church, Holgate. The Holgate High School Band and Leslie Dietrich will participate in the program.
The decoration of the graves will take place on Thursday, May 27 at 5 p.m.
Parade: The procession will begin at 11 a.m. from the Gerald Grain Elevator and proceed to Young Cemetery where a service will be held.
Service: A service will be sponsored by Bert G. Taylor Post # 300 of the American Legion, Luther R. Kolbe Post # 8218 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter # 30. The service will honor those who have been lost at sea and will take place at Napoleon’s boat launch at 10 a.m. From there, the ceremony will take place at the Henry County War Memorial, where the guest speaker will be William Oberhaus, a Vietnam War veteran. Pastor Gary Malone of the Christian Apostolic Center will give the prayer and a welcome will be presented by Napoleon Mayor Jason Massell. Special music will be performed by the choir of the Christian Apostolic Center. There will also be wreath presentations, the national anthem, a firing squad and TAPs. Free limited refreshments will be served at the American Legion’s Bert G. Taylor Post # 300 on Glenwood Avenue after the service where the community group will perform.
In the event of rain, the service will be held at Legion Hall on Glenwood Ave.
Service: The program will begin at 10:30 am at the Ridgeville American Legion. The guest speaker will be Adam Foster, a sailor and Gulf War veteran. The American Legion Post will also dedicate its new howitzer display with a dedication of its three Veterans Service cases. The ceremony will also include a 21-gun salute and the game of TAP. After the ceremony, the sons of the American Legion squadron will host an on-site dinner or take-out chicken dinner. The dinner will be a voluntary donation and the proceeds will go to the Comfort Warriors.
Service: The service will be held at Rochester Cemetery at 9:00 a.m. The introduction will be by Charley Simpson with the guest speaker being Brad Burtch, United States Ret. with a solo by Dan Wilder, USAF Ret. Boy Scout Troop 317 will present the colors and military rites will be performed by the John Paulding VFW Post 587. The John Paulding VFW Post 587 will serve a free meal at the post located at 214 North Water St. The meal will include hot dogs, beans with bacon and chips.
Service: The program will be at 11 am at Live Oaks Cemetery, run by the Paulding VFW Post 587. The invocation will be given by Dr. Shaun Matako with Mark Holtsberry being the service’s guest speaker. Boy Scout Troop 317 will be in attendance with the Paulding High School group led by Taryn Rupp and military rites will be performed by members of John Paulding VFW Post 587. John Paulding VFW Post 587 will serve a free meal at the post located at 214 North Water St. .. The meal will include hot dogs, beans and chips.
Service: The service will be held by the Archbold American Legion at Memorial Park near the memorial at 10 a.m. Amy Hammersmith, Commanding Officer of Post 311 will give a brief welcome followed by a speech on those named at the memorial. An invocation and a blessing will be given with a sound of the bell and a salute of 21 cannons. The TAPs will also be played by a trumpeter. The service will be streamed live on Archbold’s Facebook page.
Parade: The annual parade and Memorial Day program will take place on Monday and the parade will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the memorial program at Union Cemetery.
Service: The program will take place at 10 a.m. and chairs will be available. The service will be hosted by the Continental American Legion at the Mahoning Street Memorial Flower Garden.
Service: The ceremony will take place at 11:00 am on the south side of the American Legion Post. Music will be provided by the Continental High School Band. A meal will be offered after the ceremony at the Legion Hall.
Service: A memorial mass will be held at 8 am at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, followed by a memorial service at 9 am at the fire hall.
A parade will begin at 10 a.m. at the courthouse followed by a ceremony. AmVets have arranged for a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Wall to be displayed in front of VFW Post 9142. VFW will also be hosting BBQ rib and chicken dinners starting at 11 a.m. 3 pm-7pm without cover charge.