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, Ill., 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 round up of the events scheduled in Miami County:
The Covington Memorial Day Parade will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, May 29
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 James Pitman, U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. The guest speaker will be Selena Loyd, director of Veteran Services of Miami County, at Miami Memorial and Warren Davidson, U.S. Congressman, at Highland Cemetery. Additional ceremonies will be as follows:
11 a.m. — Greenville Church Cemetery (Buckneck Road south of US Route 36)
1:30 p.m. — Harris Creek Cemetery (north of Bradford on State Route 721)
9 a.m. — Bloomer Cemetery (corner of Versailles and Bradford Bloomer Road)
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
The city of Troy Memorial Day services will begin at 10 a.m. on the Adams Street Bridge, then will proceed to Riverside Cemetery for the remainder of the services at the entrance and at Old Soldier’s Circle.
The events will conclude with the dedication of the new indigent Veterans Cremorial by the Veteran’s Memorial Honor Guard.
In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the Troy VFW Post N0. 5436, 2220 LeFevre Road, Troy.
A Memorial Day Concert will take place at 7 p.m. in the pavilion at Treasure Island Park, 409 N. Elm St., County Road 25-A, Troy. Kathy McIntosh will direct the Troy Civic Band in a concert entitled, “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.”
The Memorial Day parade kicks off at 9 a.m. Monday, followed by the ceremony immediately afterward at approximately 10 a.m. at the Piqua Veteran’s Memorial at the corner of Washington Avenue and Broadway in Piqua.
The speaker will be Vice Admiral James P. “Phil” Wisecup (Ret.), a Piqua native who served 36 years active duty in the United States Navy.
The 58th annual Memorial Day luncheon will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, following the parade, at Casstown United Methodist Church, 102 Center St., Casstown. A variety of sandwiches, including barbecued pork, shredded chicken, ham and hot dogs will be available, along with assorted salads and desserts, ice cream and beverages, all sold a la carte. The church is handicapped accessible and carry-outs are available. Call 339-4828 for more information.
• Tipp City
A Memorial Day parade, sponsored by the Tipp City American Legion Post 586, will begin at 10 a.m. A ceremony will follow at the Maple Hill Cemetery. The Tipp City American Legion Post will offer bean soup and cornbread after the ceremony.
Monday evening at 6 p.m., the post will offer pizza loin (tenderloin with pizza sauce and cheese) sandwiches for $5.
• West Milton
American Legion Post 487 will host Memorial Day services in Union Township in West Milton. The first service will be held at 9 a.m. in Wheelock Cemetery in Nashville, followed by services at 9:45 a.m. in Laura Cemetery and 10:15 a.m. in Potsdam. The annual parade will begin at 11 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Stadium and ending at Riverside Cemetery, where a service will be held at 11:30 a.m.