Because of health and safety concerns surrounding the COVID-19 virus, Cardington village, the Friends of Cardington and Jenkins-Vaughan Post 97 of the American Legion have put together a Memorial Day program that they believe is in keeping with the honored traditions of this solemn day and with best practices for the current situation.

The added virtual component this year will offer the ability to watch the proceedings from the comfort of home or it can be watched from the front porch, lawn or vehicle on Main Street. Residents are asked to observe all recommendations regarding physical distancing.

At 1 p.m. the village siren combined with those on police cars and fire engines and those in local church towers will sound. Members of Post 97 and SAL Squadron 97 will be posted at the Civil War Monument in Glendale Cemetery where the POW/MIA ceremony will be conducted followed by the 21-gun salute to the dead.

“Taps” will be played by buglers from the Cardington-Lincoln High School Band from various locations in the village, such as street corners, the village park, downtown business places, etc.

Other activities offered include Chalk the Walks in the park and downtown with Patriotic or Memorial Day images and messages; place wreaths or flowers at the monument at the front of the American Legion Park; place signs or posters in lawns and windows honoring deceased veterans in your families.

You may send photos of the deceased veterans in your family and/or photos of your house/family in your favorite patriotic attire/decorations to [email protected] by 5 p.m. Monday, May 25. These will be used in a community slide show.

View the light/music display at the American Legion Park. Fly America’s flag all week to honor those who have sacrificed for our freedom.

Ceremonies canceled

Flags will still fly around the county, but traditional Memorial Day services have been canceled due to Governor Mike DeWine’s request not to gather in crowds.

Honor and Color Guard Commander Daniel Fricke was disappointed not to participate in the ceremonies in Mount Gilead this year. Fricke was honored for his 40 years with the honor guard in 2015.

“We’re going on Governor (Mike) DeWine’s word on no gatherings or parades,” Fricke said.

Fricke said he and local Boy Scouts put out 450 flags on the graves at Rivercliff Cemetery last year. He’s concerned that there won’t be enough flags this year because the factory that manufactures flags has been closed down for the past few weeks.

Many flags can be saved from year to year, but many flags get soiled or tattered and need replaced. Fricke has put out a call to get any flags that are available and hopes he can get a flag for every veteran’s grave this year.

Mount Gilead Mayor Jamie Brucker is encouraging residents to display their flags.

“The village will have flags along our downtown sidewalks,” Brucker said. “I encourage people to put out flags at their homes here in town.”

• Bryn Zion has also canceled its Memorial Day celebration. There will be no gun salute or other traditional services. “Taps” will be played at noon by Mount Gilead High School alumni Liam Shotwell.

“We would like to remember and honor Betty Ritchey, who passed away recently,” Rick Lyle said. “She was an important part of our ceremony at Bryn Zion for many years, conducting the flag re-dedication ceremony.”

The dedication ceremony for the new Veteran’s Memorial at Bryn Zion Cemetery will be held at a later date.

You can visit and look for “What The Flag Means To Me”. It is about Jim Krebs of Sunbury, Ohio. He was WWII veteran who recently passed away. There are two music videos online by Trace Adkins, “Arlington” and “Til the Last Shot’s Fired” that Lyle played each year at the Bryn Zion Memorial Day ceremony.

• Chesterville Mayor Jerry Bloomfield said the Chester Township Trustees have canceled the Memorial Day parade and there will be no Memorial Day services at the cemetery.

• A large memorial banner and wreath to honor the fallen will be displayed at the Maple Grove Cemetery. The cemetery is just East of Chesterville on State Route 95. There are a couple tentative plans in remembrance, if it does not rain. There will be no drive-by parade.

• Dwain Peak, Washington Township Trustee reported that the traditional services at the Iberia Cemetery have been canceled this year. He added that the breakfast held every Memorial Day for Northmor High School scholarships is also not being held.

• Fulton will not have a parade or service this year, according to village officials there.

• Bloomfield Cemetery near Sparta also canceled its Memorial Day service.

County ceremonies canceled due to virus

By Evelyn Long

And Alberta Stojkovic