Honoring the fallen


By Paul Butler - For the News Journal



Post 49 Chaplain Bob Baker opens with ceremony with a prayer.

Post 49 Chaplain Bob Baker opens with ceremony with a prayer.


The Post 49 Honor Guard renders honors at the ceremony.


Unit 49 Auxiliary President Kathey Carroll, with VFW Unit 6710 President Valery Rose and Clinton County Voiture 992’s 2017 Jeannette Payne Memorial Nurses Training Scholarship recipient, Brooke Rose, RN (at left).


Past Cmdr. Jerry LeForge places a wreath and pays tribute to the unknowns at Sugar Grove Cemetery.


Submitted photos

VFW Post 6710 Commander Richard James pays his respects after placing the wreath at the GAR memorial.


Submitted photos

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.

Post 49 Chaplain Bob Baker opens with ceremony with a prayer.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/05/web1_memorial-1.jpgPost 49 Chaplain Bob Baker opens with ceremony with a prayer.

The Post 49 Honor Guard renders honors at the ceremony.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/05/web1_memorial-2.jpgThe Post 49 Honor Guard renders honors at the ceremony.

Unit 49 Auxiliary President Kathey Carroll, with VFW Unit 6710 President Valery Rose and Clinton County Voiture 992’s 2017 Jeannette Payne Memorial Nurses Training Scholarship recipient, Brooke Rose, RN (at left).
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/05/web1_memorial-3.jpgUnit 49 Auxiliary President Kathey Carroll, with VFW Unit 6710 President Valery Rose and Clinton County Voiture 992’s 2017 Jeannette Payne Memorial Nurses Training Scholarship recipient, Brooke Rose, RN (at left).

Past Cmdr. Jerry LeForge places a wreath and pays tribute to the unknowns at Sugar Grove Cemetery.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/05/web1_memorial-4.jpgPast Cmdr. Jerry LeForge places a wreath and pays tribute to the unknowns at Sugar Grove Cemetery. Submitted photos

VFW Post 6710 Commander Richard James pays his respects after placing the wreath at the GAR memorial.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2020/05/web1_memorial-5.jpgVFW Post 6710 Commander Richard James pays his respects after placing the wreath at the GAR memorial. Submitted photos

By Paul Butler

For the News Journal