GALION — Like many communities across America, Galion residents will pause Monday to remember the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice to our nation.
The city’s annual Memorial Day Parade will be held, rain or shine.
This comes after grave decoration last weekend — also Armed Forces Day — and the final planning meeting this week.
The parade, which begins at 10 a.m., follows its regular route, beginning at the American Legion on South Market St., then moving east on Harding Way, with a turn on Washington St. heading north, before ending at Fairview Cemetery for the official ceremony.
The ceremony includes a reading of the names of local veterans who have passed away since last year’s Memorial Day ceremony. Wreaths will then be laid in their honor.
Bands from local high schools and middle schools, as well as alumni bands, are invited.
This year, residents with golf carts are encouraged to decorate them with patriotic fare, though not advertising or political statements.
The grand marshal of the 2022 parade is Jim Quaintance, a military veteran from Galion. The keynote speaker will be City of Galion Mayor Tom O’Leary.
Pam Cole and Jim Brocklesby are co-chairs of the organizing committee, working along with AMVETS Post 1979.
“I am a staunch supporter of any veterans’ activities,” Cole, who’s in her sixth year organizing Memorial Day festivities, said. “The programs we offer all year are good but we feel there needs to be a day set aside to remember the veterans we’ve lost and also support gold star families from the area.”
Cole expects several hundred people to line the streets and intersections as usual.
Courtesy of the American Legion, Scarbrough Post 43, banners honoring Galion veterans again hang from poles along Harding Way.
Volunteers also placed thousands of American flags on graves at Fairview and smaller outlying cemeteries across rural portions of the county.
Memorial Day began in 1868 when Civil War General, future President and Ohio native James Garfield addressed more than 5,000 families of the fallen at an Arlington National Cemetery ceremony.
Originally known as “Decoration Day” to honor the 650,000 men — over 30,000 from Ohio — who lost their lives in our country’s bloodiest war, the holiday received its initial nickname when citizens honored soldiers by decorating their graves with flowers. As years went on, they included all deceased veterans who perished defending the country.
After the ceremony, a free dinner for veterans will be served at AMVETS 1979.