Memorial Day parades, services planned Monday

THE BLUFFTON AMERICAN Legion Post 382 honor guard, shown here in a previous parade, will lead Bluffton’s Memorial Day parade at 9:30 a.m. Monday, beginning at the Bluffton Town Hall. Parades and ceremonies are planned at many area villages on Monday. The Hancock County Veterans Council will sponsor Findlay’s parade at 10 a.m. Veterans’ organizations auxiliaries will hold a memorial service at the Main Street bridge at 9 a.m. (Photo provided)

THE BLUFFTON AMERICAN Legion Post 382 honor guard, shown here in a previous parade, will lead Bluffton’s Memorial Day parade at 9:30 a.m. Monday, beginning at the Bluffton Town Hall. Parades and ceremonies are planned at many area villages on Monday. The Hancock County Veterans Council will sponsor Findlay’s parade at 10 a.m. Veterans’ organizations auxiliaries will hold a memorial service at the Main Street bridge at 9 a.m. (Photo provided)

The Hancock County Veterans Council will sponsor Findlay’s Memorial Day parade on Monday.

At 9 a.m., a ceremony to honor veterans who fell in battle on land, sea and air will be led by local veterans’ organizations auxiliaries at the south end of the Main Street bridge. The ceremony will begin with a flag raising by the Marine Corps League. The national anthem will be sung by Julie Kroske of Arlington. A wreath tribute will be given by the auxiliaries, and a rifle salute by the Hancock County Memorial Squad. Taps will be played by a Findlay High School band member.

Bridge ceremony participants should meet in front of the American Legion on Front Street at 8:30 a.m.

The public can meet at the south end of the bridge at 9 a.m.

Parade participants will begin lining up at 9:15 a.m. in front of the American Legion on Front Street. The parade will start at 10 a.m. in front of the American Legion and end at the Veterans Memorial in Maple Grove Cemetery. A ceremony and floral tribute will be held at the memorial.

Speakers will include Mayor Lydia Mihalik, Ronald Dutton of the Korean War Veterans Association and Findlay High School student Haley Haas.

Dutton is the president of the Korean War Veterans Association, Hancock County Chapter 172, as well as president of the Hancock County Memorial Squad.

He served in U.S. Army 82nd Airborne out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, from 1953-1955 during the Korean War. He earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Ohio Northern University in 1962, and worked in computer systems design and support at Marathon for 33 years, retiring in 1992. He then worked for MidAm Bank for 14 years. He has been active with the Fort Findlay Playhouse since 1969.

Haas will read an essay she wrote that was entered into competition through the AMVETS Americanism program. Her essay has been named the winner at the district level and is still advancing through the competition levels.

Individuals and organizations that would like to be in the parade should call Veterans Council President Robert Driftmyer at 419-306-5350.

Arlington

Arlington VFW Post 4510 will hold Memorial Day services at 10 a.m. Monday at Arlington Cemetery.

The speaker will be Ron Cable, former band director at Arlington High School.

Any member that would like to be in the rifle squad is asked to meet at the VFW post at 7 a.m.

If the weather is bad, the service will be held at Arlington High School.

Bluffton

Bluffton’s Memorial Day parade will start at the Bluffton Town Hall at 9:30 a.m. Monday. Participants are asked to be at the town hall by 9:15 a.m.

The Bluffton American Legion Post 382 honor guard will lead the parade, followed by the Bluffton High School band.

Parade spectators are asked to remove their caps as the honor guard passes to show respect for the American flag.

The parade will march along Main Street to Grove Street and then to Bluffton’s Maple Grove Cemetery, where the ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.

The speaker for the memorial ceremony will be Lawrence A. Huffman, a United States Marine Corps veteran and partner in the Huffman, Kelley, Brock and Gottschalk law firm in Lima.

If it rains, the ceremony will be held at Bluffton Middle School.

Families are encouraged to decorate their bicycles and ride them in the parade. Janette Reineke and Nancy Yeager are the coordinators of this part of the parade.

After the Memorial Day ceremonies, Bluffton American Legion Post 382 will serve barbecued chicken dinners, catered by Harlan’s, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Citizens National Bank parking lot. Tickets for the barbecue will be on sale at Bluffton’s farmers market on Saturday, and from post members.

McComb

The McComb American Legion Post 511 and VFW Post 9231 will hold a Memorial Day parade in McComb on Monday.

The parade will start in front of the VFW post and move to the McComb Cemetery at 10 am. Rides will be available for all veterans who wish to participate in the parade.

This year’s celebration will also honor Vietnam veterans and feature speaker Paul A. Joseph, a retired U.S. Army first sergeant. He has received numerous military awards and decorations and is a graduate of multiple military schools.

In case of inclement weather, the services will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the McComb High School gymnasium.

Ottawa/Kalida

Memorial Day will be observed in Kalida Monday with a church service at 8 a.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church and a memorial service at 9 a.m.

A parade and memorial service will be held in Ottawa. The parade will begin from the corner of Main and Perry streets at 10:30 a.m. and will feature the Kalida and Ottawa-Glandorf high school marching bands.

The Ottawa memorial service will be held in front of the Putnam County courthouse immediately following the parade.

The observances are sponsored jointly by the Ottawa American Legion, the Ottawa VFW and the Putnam County Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans.

In case of rain, the parade will be canceled and the Ottawa memorial service will be held in the Robert J. Hermiller Gymnasium at Ottawa-Glandorf High School.

Van Buren

Van Buren’s Memorial Day services, honoring veterans and those currently serving, will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the Van Buren High School auditorium. The program will be presented by Boy Scout Troop 313.

The featured speaker will be Eric Wilkins, a U.S. Marine veteran and Findlay fireman.

Wilkins served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1995-1999 and with the Ohio Army National Guard from 2002-2011. He joined the Findlay Fire Department in 2001. He and his wife, Jenna, have a son, Clint. Wilkins also serves as the youth minister at Salem-Cass United Methodist Church.

Music will be furnished by the Van Buren High School band.

Boy Scout Troop 313 also has charge of decorating veterans’ graves in Bechtel Cemetery. If a grave has been overlooked, call Jim Baughman at 419-422-6061.

The scout troop will be destroying worn flags Saturday at the Heminger Shelter House next to Bechtel Cemetery. A flag ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. The retiring of flags will continue all morning. Anyone with a worn flag may give it to a Van Buren Boy Scout or bring it to the shelter house anytime Saturday morning. The ashes collected from the destroyed flags will be buried at the cemetery near the flagpole.

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