Many generous, patriotic individuals joined with an energized Fayette County Honor Guard to celebrate Memorial Day in three different cemeteries on Monday.
The first ceremony began at 10 a.m. at Washington Cemetery with David Frederick, American Legion Post No. 25, as master of ceremonies. After welcoming all those present, Frederick talked about the meaning of Memorial Day and reminded those gathered “that we are able to assemble, able to live free lives because of the dedication and bravery of those who served and especially those who gave all.”
Ed Gault, minister at First Baptist Church, offered several prayers not only for those brave souls who lost their lives defending freedom, but also for those who enjoy our freedom today.
The speaker was Paul LaRue, who shared interesting facts about World War I . Approximately 4.5 million Americans were deployed during this war and 116,000 died. Ohio sent 263,000 soldiers to battle overseas and, tragically, 7,000 died. Fayette County sent a number of young men to the battle with many of them returning, dead and alive, with medals of valor and bravery. LaRue reminded everyone that “our time to say ‘thanks’ is not over.”
Two other large groups joined the Honor Guard for this Memorial Day ceremony. The first was the American Legion Post No. 25 Riders. These men and women, some veterans, some not, create fund-raising events in order to aid other veterans in need of help.
The last group was the Washington High School Band, under the direction of Matt Stanley, playing favorite music for this annual ceremony. The ceremony ended with the placing of the memorial wreath by veterans Charles (Buck) Harris, John Mason and Ed Fisher. All three are Honor Guard members and all three are Fayette County Veteran Services Commissioners.
The seven-member Fayette County Honor Guard, under Commander Bill Footy, fired three volleys; TAPS were played live by veterans Zeke Zastrow and Larry Bishop; along with one verse of “Amazing Grace” to close the ceremony.