The annual Lees Creek Memorial Day Parade formed at the Wayne Township Hall in Lees Creek on Monday and set off at 1:15 p.m. for the nearly half-mile march to the Lees Creek Cemetery, where the community conducted its 94th Memorial Day service.
Leading the parade was a cruiser from the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office followed by community leaders participating in the ceremony, a color guard from the Henry Casey Camp No. 92 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the East Clinton High School Band, fire engines from the two fire department districts that serve Wayne Township, and community members anxious to honor the veterans buried in Lees Creek Cemetery.
Wayne Township Trustee Kevin Bean served as the master of ceremonies for the program at the cemetery. Barry Allen gave the invocation and benediction. Company C, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Sons of Veterans Reserve, which is the military arm of Henry Casey Camp No.92 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, posted the Colors and fired a musket salute during the ceremony.
Shelby Williams read the Gettysburg Address; Kevin Bean read the names of all the veterans buried in Lees Creek cemetery which includes veterans from the American Revolutionary to the present. The East Clinton High School Band played inspiring patriotic musical selections, and the grave of the Unknown Soldier was decorated with flowers.
The Memorial Day Address was delivered by Bob Gates, investigator for the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office. He gave a very interesting tribute to our military veterans by telling the story of three soldiers surrounded by the enemy and fighting for their lives during a battle in the Vietnam War.
They were members of a combat engineering unit who were forced to call for artillery fire to disperse the enemy and by doing so the shell fire was almost certain to land on them. Somehow, two of them survived the situation, but neither considered themselves military heroes. They considered the soldier who did not survive to be the hero.
Bob Gates said he had a difficult time getting permission to tell the story because one of the survivors was his dad.
Following the Memorial Day service all those who participated as well as those who attended the ceremony were invited to enjoy refreshments in front of the United Church of Christ in Lees Creek.