SIDNEY — The men and women who lost their lives defending the United States were remembered during Monday’s Memorial Day observance on the courtsquare in downtown Sidney.
“We’re here today for one thing. That is to honor our deceased comrades, some of whom died serving their country, the majority of whom returned home after performing their military duties, raised families, became productive citizens, and are buried today in the community which they served,” said Retired Capt. Chuck Craynon, U.S. Marin Corps, who was the master of ceremonies.
An invocation was given by Pastor Jim Oates, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, and the national anthem was played. Welcoming remarks were given by Anthony Bornhorst, Shelby County commissioner, and Sidney Mayor, Mike Barhorst.
“Memorial Day honors all the soldiers who were murdered fighting for their nation. It should be noted that the men and women we celebrate today are ordinary people who dared to fight for a cause and died in doing so. On this most solemn of holidays, I ask that you take time to consider the great sacrifices others have made so that we may enjoy the freedom and prosperity that we enjoy today” said Barhorst.
The Pledge of Allegiance, led by Ainsley Wiford of Girl Scout Troop 20283 was followed by General Logan’s Orders, read by Dr. William Ross III, U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
Dennis Clausing SMSgt., U.S. Air Force, retired, currently serving on the Veterans’ Benefits Committee, spoke on the topic of remembering those who are the true heroes in our society.
“Don’t underestimate the power of simply saying thank you,” said Clausing.
Carleen Petit, Gold Star Wife, placed the wreath for the soldiers, and American Legion Post 217 presented the rifle salute and the playing of Taps.
Following the event on the square, spectators were invited to reconvene at the Monumental Building to the Shelby County Veterans Service Office to witness the unveiling of a new name added to the Civil War Memorial.
Pvt. William J. Peel was a member of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry, United States Colored Troops. was added to the memorial after he came to the attention of those doing research through the Shelby County Historical Society. Peel was a resident of Shelby County and died during the Battle of Honey Hill in South Carolina, Nov. 30, 1864.
The celebration was concluded at Graceland Cemetery with an invocation, the placing of wreaths, the reading of the Gettysburg Address, rifle salute, and the playing of Taps.
Wreaths were placed by Gold Star Mothers/Families, DAV Chapter 48, Western Ohio Marine Corps League, American Legion Post 217 and Auxiliary Organizations, Amvets Post 1986 and Auxiliary Organizations and Voiture 984
Navy veteran Carl Zimmerman read the Gettysburg Address.
“Please, forgive the speaker and remember the author as there’s never been a time in our history that we needed these words more than we do today,” urged Zimmerman.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.