Remembering the sacrifice
EAST LIVERPOOL –The message was clear during both Memorial Day festivities in East Liverpool and Wellsville.
The holiday is much more than flipflops, cookouts and big box sales.
Each community remembered those who paid the ultimate sacrifice Monday morning with parades and sweet sentiments.
East Liverpool’s event started off around 10 a.m. at the city’s wharf before kicking off its parade from East Fifth Street down Jackson Street to West Sixth Street, where World War II naval veteran James McKinnon served as marshal.
Bill Ash of the Veterans City Council, which organized the event, served as master of ceremonies for the event.
Ash also remarked that since the Veterans City Council began its veterans’ banner program on downtown light poles, they have witnessed it grow to 265 banners.
Both the Beaver Local and East Liverpool high school bands performed, and veterans appeared during the parade route in a variety of vehicles ranging from motorcycles to restored combat Jeeps and pickup trucks for the festivities.
The event appears to be a favorite, especially with children who scurried to the edge of the road to retrieve candy that the veterans had thrown with care just within reach of the curb where they sat.
Bill Johnson, who serves as chaplain for the East Liverpool Veterans City Council, remarked before the invocation that he was extremely pleased with the crowd turnout. Wearing his dress uniform for the festivities, he said he was honored to stand here on behalf of all the military personnel. Quoting Jesus Christ in The Last Supper, he noted, “There is no greater sacrifice than to lay one’s life down for another,” adding “We are all blessed to have made it home.”
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering people who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It was originally known as Decoration Day before the moniker change in 1882 and now is held on the final Monday of May, marking the beginning of summer much like Labor Day represents the end.
Earlier in the day, Wellsville kicked off its Memorial Day festivities at 4th Street Memorial Park.
Don Croskey, president of the Wellsville Veterans Memorial Council, opened the gathering Monday morning.
Mayor Nancy Murray welcomed the crowd, and the Wellsville High School band played several patriotic musical selections.
Pastor Mike Dyer provided the invocation and benediction at both the pre-parade exercises and the one that followed the parade to Springhill Cemetery, where the Eternal Flame was both lit and extinguished at the conclusion of services.
Columbiana County Municipal Court Judge Timothy McNicol provided the keynote addresses at both the park and cemetery services.