SIDNEY — Area Memorial Day observances will begin Saturday, May 26, at 8 a.m. when Boy and Girl Scouts, service organization members and community volunteers decorate the graves of deceased veterans in cemetaries throughout the region.
Scouts and others will mark graves with flags and potted geraniums in Graceland Cemetery in Sidney beginning then.
Fort Loramie American Legion Post No. 355 members will place more than 900 flags at six locations throughout Shelby County.
Sunday, May 27, ceremonies
• At 1:30 p.m., there will be a service in the Glenn Cemetery in Port Jefferson. After an introduction by Robert Allen, the Sidney First United Methodist Church Choir will perform and the church’s Rev. David Chivington will give the invocation and benediction. Jenna Allen will sing the national anthem.
American Legion Post No. 217 will present the colors. Salem Township trustees will lay wreaths. Dorothy Locker and Carleen Pettit will lead a salute to Gold Star members.
Guest speakers will be Michael Burress and Robert Barnhart. All in attendance will be invited to join in singing “God Bless America” to close the service.
Monday, May 28, ceremonies
• The Sidney Amvets Post 1986 is the coordinating organization of this year’s Sidney ceremonies on the courtsquare and in Graceland Cemetery. Carl Wical, of Amvets Post 1986, will be the featured speaker. Former Shelby County Commissioner John Laws will open the event on the courtsquare at 9 a.m. Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst and Shelby County Commissioners Tony Bornhorst, Julie Ehemann and Bob Guillozet will offer a welcome. Carl Zimmerman, of American Legion Post No. 217, will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation will follow.
U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran Dr. William Ross III will read General Logan’s orders, members of the Amvets post will lay a wreath, and the American Legion Post 217 firing squad will present a rifle salute.
Participants will then move to Graceland Cemetery.
At the cemetery, Laws will call the assembly to order. Wical will lead a prayer and Chris Harlamert, of the Sons of Amvets Post 1896, will read Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. Flowers and wreaths will be presented by various service organizations. The legion firing squad will present a second rifle salute, and the ceremonies will conclude with the playing of taps and a benediction by Wical.
A Sidney native, Wical graduated from Sidney High School and Edison State Community College before serving in the Army from 1975 to 1978. He was stationed with the field artillery at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He is a past commander of Sidney Amvets Post No. 1986 and a retired letter carrier.
• At 10 a.m., the Heiland American Legion Post 446 will open services in the Botkins Local School gymnasium. The Botkins High School Band will perform. The Rev. Patrick Sloneker, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Botkins, will be the guest speaker. He is a veteran of the Navy Chaplain Corps. Pastor David Weirauch, of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sidney, will give the invocation and benediction.
• The New Bremen High School band and choir will perform during services beginning at 11 a.m. in the German Protestant Cemetery, New Bremen-New Knoxville Road at Lock Two Road, New Bremen. New Bremen Mayor Jeff Pape will be the guest speaker. The event will be coordinated by American Legion Post No. 241, and Commander Mike Homan will be master of ceremonies.
• The 33rd annual Shelby Memorial Gardens Memorial Service will begin at 11 a.m. in Shelby Memorial Gardens, 8347 state Route 705, Sidney. Pastor Earnie Jones will lead prayers, scripture readings and songs of praise.
• Franklin Township services will begin at noon in Pearl Cemetery, 11095 county Road 25A North, Sidney.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.