As the annual parade was beginning to align in the background, a small group of local residents and patrons gathered in front of the Scioto County KIA-MIA Memorial at Tracy Park to pay their respects to the fallen soldiers in an orchestrated ceremony to kickoff the Memorial Day festivities.
The ceremony began with the national anthem and the raising of the American Flag.
“It’s an honor to be here, and to honor those that have given their lives for our nation and our freedom. We should never take that lightly,” Bryan Davis, chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners, said. “I appreciate what the Veterans Vommission does by putting on this event and then all of those that show up from the different posts.”
The anthem was followed by a 21-gun salute.
“It’s emotional. It’s definitely emotional to think about all of those who left home, went and fought for us, and our still fighting for us today — less we forget we are still fighting wars,” Davis said. “There are still men and women dying for the cause. It’s definitely very emotional and it gives you pause, especially on a day like today when you think about the sacrifice that’s been made by so many and their families.”
Fellow Scioto County Commissioner Mike Crabtree was honored to remember the fallen soldiers who laid down their lives for the United States of America.
“It is an emotional thing,” Crabtree said. “I remember from the time I was just a little kid, we use to say the pledge in school and the lord’s prayer. People were proud of their country and certainly I am as well. In our community, this is one of the few things we can do to honor not only the fallen soldiers, but their families as well.”
The ceremony was capped off by the playing of taps, which is typically heard at the conclusion of a military funeral.
“I was in the service for a few years. I had a lot of friends that I made over the years and some of them ended up dying,” Crabtree said. “There are so many things that have happened over the last 200 years and since the beginning of time really — thousands of lives that were lost — usually just when people are beginning their lives and then it’s over with. It’s a sad thing and we can’t bring them back, but we can honor the fact that these guys answered the call of duty and they paid the ultimate price.”
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1927, or on Twitter @crslone.