WILMINGTON — The 2020 Memorial Day Parade and community ceremony at Sugar Grove Cemetery were cancelled in accordance with current restrictions regarding public gatherings. Yet the freedoms we enjoy — bought and paid for by the lives of the men and women we honor on Memorial Day — were not cancelled.
Liberty lives on and the veterans who are most acutely aware of the sacrifices made by their “brothers and sisters in arms” in pursuit of the elusive dream of “… liberty and justice for all.” came together, responsibly, on Monday to recognize and remember.
The cemetery seemed even more hallowed and serene as the Commander of Wilmington Veterans Post 49, Jim Cook, opened the tribute.
Post 49 Chaplain Bob Baker offered prayer, Wilmington Mayor John Stanforth made brief remarks, the traditional wreaths were placed at the markers of the unknown by Past Post 49 and Past Department of Ohio 4th District Commander Gerald “Jerry” LeForge, the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, Post 49 Honor Guard rendered a rifle salute, and “Taps” was played.
Small groups talked quietly afterwards and most of those present noted how they missed seeing all their friends and acquaintances, listening to the music and speeches — however, the hopeful confidence that things will return to the community’s traditional remembrance next year was unanimous.
The unofficial beginning of summer, the three day weekend known for family reunions and cookouts and the most solemn of National Holidays was celebrated in a more subdued manner in 2020.
There were no parades, no large community gatherings, no bands and no speeches, but because of the dedication and commitment of the American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen and guardsmen who put country before self, freedom reigns supreme in Clinton County, Ohio, U.S.A.