On Monday (May 29) the Village of Sunbury will usher in the summer season with its traditional Memorial Day observance, one of the village’s annual anchor events. The day comes complete with a ceremony honoring those who have served in the military services and who fought and died defending freedom both at home and abroad.
Sunbury’s solemn Memorial Day commemoration of America’s fallen heroes is a moving event in more ways than one. It begins with a formal program at JR Smith Park, moves via parade to Veteran’s Memorial on the northwest corner of Sunbury Village Square for a brief wreath-laying ceremony, and finally disperses following a final ceremony in Sunbury Memorial Park.
The program at J.R. Smith Park, hosted this year by members of Sunbury’s Col. Benson Hough Post 457 American Legion, begins with a 10 a.m. honor guard ceremony, followed by an invocation, a youth speaker, a keynote address, and music provided by the Big Walnut High School Marching Band.
The keynote speaker for this year’s Sunbury Memorial Day Ceremony will be Robert Friend.
The youth speaker will be Emma Armbrust; Mary Bloch will sing Taps, and Tamela Knight will provide additional vocal music.
Participating Scouts, both boys and girls, will serve as standard bearers during the ceremony. A roll call will individually recognize veterans in the audience who have served in WW II, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Lebanon, Haiti, Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, the Persian Gulf, Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Prisoners of War.
Also included in the day’s activities will be the traditional 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. “rain or shine” flea market on historic Sunbury Village Square. The Big Walnut Music and Marching Boosters host each year’s Memorial Day Flea Market on the Square.
Galena’s Memorial Day Services will begin on Galena Village Square at 1 p.m.
Members of Sunbury VFW Post 8736 will provide the honor guard at Galena. Following speakers and a wreath-laying ceremony at the G & T Club Monument and a 21-gun salute, a brief procession will take the proceedings to Galena Cemetery on Walnut Street.
At the cemetery, Galena Village Council member David Simmons will present historical remarks before the ceremony concludes with another 21-gun salute and taps.
In case of inclement weather, the event will move to the Galena Village Hall at 109 Harrison St.
Reporter Lenny C. Lepola can be reached at 614-266-6093.