MIAMI COUNTY — Memorial Day in the U.S. is a day focused on remembering the people who died while serving in the country’s Armed Forces.
The holiday is observed every year on the last Monday of May, and originated as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.
By the 20th century, competing Union and Confederate holiday traditions, celebrated on different days, had merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the military service.
It also marks the start of the unofficial summer vacation season, while Labor Day marks its end.
In Miami County, services are planned throughout the towns and villages and include speakers and ceremonies to honor our military heroes. The following is a roundup of the events scheduled in Miami County:
• Memorial Day ceremonies will begin at 10:20 a.m. Monday at the Veterans Memorial in Riverside Cemetery, Troy.
• The Troy Civic Band will present an outdoor concert, “Honoring Our Veterans,” at 7 p.m. Monday at the pavilion at Treasure Island Park, 419 N. Elm St.
More than 50 musicians directed by Bill and Kathy McIntosh will perform concert band selections by John Philip Sousa, Clare Grundman, and Jerry Goldsmith.
Audience members are encouraged to wear patriotic or military attire and bring lawn chairs. The site is handicapped-accessible and there is free parking and restrooms on site.
For more information, call 335-1178.
• The Memorial Day parade will kick off from Piqua Central Intermediate School at 9 a.m. Monday. The parade’s grand marshal Bruce Hogston is a Navy veteran, former Piqua firefighter and past chairman of the Piqua Memorial Day parade. Steve Mullikin, commander of American Legion Post 184, will be the master of ceremonies, and Pastor Dan Williams of Calvary Baptist Church will give the invocation.
The Memorial Day address will be given by Col. Katherine Platoni, Psy. D., clinical psychologist. Dr. Platoni was deployed during Operation Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the wake of 9/11, she voluntarily deployed to New York City twice to provide disaster mental health and critical incident stress debriefing services to members of the NYC Police Department. A nationally recognized expert in the treatment of post-traumatic stress, among other honors, Dr. Platoni currently serves as the Dayton SWAT psychologist and mental health adviser to the Dayton Hostage Negotiation Team.
• A Memorial Day Vehicle Show will be offered from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 26-27, at Family Farm & Home, Piqua. More than a dozen military vehicles will be on display.
• The 59th annual Memorial Day luncheon will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Casstown United Methodist Church, 102 Center St., Casstown. The menu will include a variety of sandwiches, assorted salads and desserts, ice cream and beverages, all sold a la carte. Carry-outs will be available. The church is handicapped-accessible.
• The Covington Memorial Day Parade will be held at 1 p.m. Monday.
The parade will start at the corner of High and Walnut streets. It will proceed through town to Highland Cemetery where the ceremony will start. The parade marshal this year will be Ada Fraley, who has been member of the Memorial Day Committee and is being honored this this year for her service to veterans. The guest speaker is Paul Reece, a Chief Warrant Officer Three in the U.S. Army Reserves and a retired sheriff with service to Montgomery and Miami counties.
The Monday services will be as follows:
9 a.m. — Bloomer Cemetery (corner of Versailles and Bradford Bloomer roads)
10:30 a.m. — Miami Memorial Park Cemetery
1 p.m. — Parade with ceremony to follow at Highland Cemetery
Following the Highland ceremony, there will be a “Burial at Sea” ceremony performed at the Covington Park.
For more information, call or text Jay Schilling at 418-3054 or Bill Wendel at 418-7125, or email CovingtonMDC@gmail.com.
• Christiansburg Fire Company will hold its 37th annual Memorial Day parade and services on Monday in Christiansburg.
Services will be held at Smith Cemetery at the edge of Christiansburg following the parade, which begins at 11:30 a.m. The speaker will be Navy veteran Michael Sullenberger.
The parade line up is at Christiansburg Park at 11 a.m. and anyone who would like to participate is welcome.
• A Memorial Day parade, organized by Tipp City American Legion Post 586, will begin at 10 a.m. — Mondayat Seventh and Main streets. The parade will stop for a short presentation at Veterans Memorial Park on the corner of Hyatt and Main streets, before continuing to Maple Hill Cemetery, where a service will be held. The Tipp City American Legion Post will offer lunch after the ceremony.
• Memorial Day observances begin at 9 a.m. in Wheelock Cemetery, another service will be held in Laura Cemetery at 9:45 a.m. and in Potsdam Cemetery at 10:15 a.m. All ceremonies will include patriotic music, benediction and remarks, and the placing of a wreath.
• In West Milton, the annual Memorial Day parade will step off at 11 a.m. from Veterans Memorial Stadium, ending at Riverside Cemetery, followed by a ceremony and speeches at the cemetery.