By Frank Lewis
It’s never too early for the Scioto County Memorial Day Association to begin planning for the upcoming Memorial Day Observance. President Paul Claxon has called a Memorial Day meeting for Saturday Feb. 15, at 10 a.m. in the Bartlett Room at Post 23 of the American Legion, 705 Court St., in Portsmouth.
“This is the beginning of our 146th year commemorating our deceased military heroes of all wars at Greenlawn Cemetery and Soldiers Circle in Portsmouth,” Claxon said. “During that meeting we will select our Grand Marshal and Honorary Marshal for our Parade and the day’s activities.”
Claxon reminded area residents their meetings are open to the public.
“We need participation at our meetings and within our parading units,” Claxon said. “Several changes to parade regulations were voted on and approved at our June 2013 meeting. The changes will be discussed at our meeting on Saturday,” Claxon said. “We still strive to have a beautiful parade with suitable floats and other rolling stock that display respect for the occasion, our community and our fallen heroes.”
In June 2013 the Association met to pay all bills and elect new officers for the coming year. The Officers for Memorial Day 2014 are Paul Claxon, president; Rich Saddler, vice president; Tim Payne, secretary; Treasurer, Bill Rush and Chaplain Mary Holmes
Grave flagging will be handled by chairperson Rhonda Madison. Claxon said Madison has been a long standing member of the Association. He said the flags were ordered byJune Meade and they are on site at Greenlawn Cemetery. Claxon said anyone wishing to help can see her at the monthly meetings at the Post.
“Rhonda and her crew of volunteers place more than 5,000 flags throughout Scioto County,” Claxon said. “She had help in most townships but also realized that some cemeteries and grave sites in the county were not covered. If you know of a veterans grave or a cemetery that has not been so honored please help us in finding someone to help place the flags.”
He said the flags are in the protected custody of city employees John Blevins and Sandy Rawlins at Greenlawn. Anyone wishing to help place grave site flags can contact Madison by letter at 1713 Rosemount Rd., Portsmouth, Ohio, 45662 or at their regularly scheduled meetings at Post 23.
Claxon said Donna Lewis is in charge of special events, Trent Willaims will serve as music chairman and Jim Saddler is in charge of publicity. Jim Bailey, Bill Hutchinson and Dr. Robert Nelson are trustees.
In addition to Saturday’s meetings, the Association has set Feb. 15, March 15, April 19, and May 17 for other meetings. He said one more will be announced just prior to Memorial Day. Claxon reiterated that all meetings begin at 10 a.m.
Lewis and the Ladies in White will line up as usual on Ninth Street east of Chillicothe Street. Claxon said anyone wishing to become a member of the “Ladies in White” and their most important services at Soldiers Circle should see Lewis at their monthly meetings or contact her by letter at 2734 Grandview Ave. Portsmouth, Ohio 45662.
The May 26 Memorial Day Services schedule will be:
- 9 a.m. Kia-Mia Services at Tracy Park Conducted by Scioto County Veterans Service
- 9:30 a.m. - Line up for Procession to Green Lawn and Soldiers Circle at 9th and Chillicothe streets
- 10 a.m.- Depart in parade for Greenlawn Cemetery
- 11:30 a.m. - Memorial Day services at Soldiers Circle.
Claxon said after the services at Soldiers Circle the traditional bean soup, corn bread, fried potatoes, fried apples with assorted desserts will be served at Post 23. There is no cost and it is open to the public. People are urged to invite friends and neighbors.
At 3 p.m. there will be a Memorial and laying of the flowers for all men and women who lost their lives at sea during all wars. Services will be on the Ohio River bank above the Court Street Landing.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.