Several communities in the Mid-Ohio Valley will be celebrating Memorial Day with parades and ceremonies during the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
One ceremony in Parkersburg will be held Saturday and two programs will be held in Ravenswood Sunday. Most other programs in the area will be held Monday on Memorial Day.
In Marietta, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion will be sponsoring parades Monday to honor the military veterans who have died in service.
Each parade will feature local high school bands, local veterans groups and community organizations and local politicians. A memorial service, with rifle salutes and other honors will be given at the end of each event.
VFW Post 5108 will hold the first program beginning at Harmar Elementary School. After lining up at 7:30 a.m., the parade will start at 8 a.m. from the school and end at the Harmar Cemetery, where a 20-minute program will be held in honor of fallen soldiers.
From the cemetery, the crowd will walk to the Putnam Bridge. Another rifle salute will be given for fallen Marine and Navy personnel lost at sea and a flower wreath will be thrown into the Muskingum River.
Also in Marietta, the parade organized by American Legion Post 64 will begin lining up at 9:30 a.m. Monday on Front Street next to East Muskingum Park. The parade will start at 10 a.m. and follow a route along Putnam Street, Fifth Street, Wooster Street and Eighth Street.
During the parade, the units will stop at Mound Cemetery for a brief ceremony.
There will be a ceremony in Oak Grove Cemetery at Eighth and Wooster streets to commemorate those who have passed since the last Memorial Day. There will be a speaker and during the program the names of soldiers who have died since Memorial Day 2010 will be read aloud. The program will include a rifle salute and the reading of the Gettysburg Address and General Logan's orders, which were given during the Civil War and proclaimed Memorial Day.
There will be a flag retirement ceremony at AL Post 64 Home, also at Eighth and Wooster streets, following the ceremony. Anyone with old or worn American flags can bring them to the post for proper disposal. There is a mailbox in the post's lower parking lot where flags can be left at any time during the year.
Lunch will be served at the post following the ceremony and the flag retirement ceremony. VFW Post 5108 will also hold a luncheon following the parades at its location on Pike Street.
In Williamstown, American Legion Post 159 will hold a parade from Tomlinson Park to Riverview Cemetery Monday. Units will begin lining up between 8:30 and 9 a.m. and the parade will begin at 9 a.m.
A ceremony honoring deceased veterans will be held at the cemetery with speakers. There will also be a wreath-laying, a rifle salute and "Taps."
Following the memorial ceremony, everyone is invited to return to the post building at 201 Central Ave. to honor recently deceased post members and for a flag disposal ceremony. Following all ceremonies, a lunch and open house will be held for everyone in attendance.
In Belpre, the annual Memorial Day program will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Leavitt Funeral Home in Belpre, at the flagpole and veterans memorial dedicated in 2007 by the funeral home to veterans who have received services at the funeral home.
The event is organized by American Legion Post 495 and the Ladies Auxiliary in Belpre and will feature several speakers, including Gene Wentz. There will be a laying of a wreath, a rifle salute and the playing of "Taps" during the ceremony.
Following the ceremony, lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. in the post at 100 Washington Blvd., below the Parkersburg-Belpre Bridge.
In Beverly and Waterford, the annual Memorial Day Parade sponsored by American Legion Post 389 will begin at 9 a.m. Monday at Fort Frye High School with the lineup beginning at 8:30 a.m. Following a brief ceremony at the veterans memorial near the high school, the parade will go along Ohio 60 to the Beverly Cemetery where a memorial ceremony will be held for the veterans buried in the cemetery.
The parade will then move toward Waterford on the other side of the Muskingum River. The parade units will stop for a few minutes on the Beverly-Waterford Bridge while a wreath and flowers are thrown in the river to honor naval veterans. The parade will end at the Waterford Cemetery with another ceremony for veterans.
Following the parade, participants are encouraged to join American Legion Post 389 in Beverly for breakfast.
In Lowell, American Legion Post 750 will participate in a ceremony at 1 p.m. Saturday at East Lawn Cemetery on Ohio 7 north of Marietta.
The Memorial Day activities will begin early with a ceremony and Mass at 7:45 a.m. Monday at the Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery near Lowell. The Mass will be followed by a breakfast at the post hall in Lowell.
The annual Lowell Memorial Parade will be 10:30 a.m. and will include visits to the Lowell Veterans Monument, the German Cemetery, Cats Creek Bridge and Greenlawn Cemetery where ceremonies will be held. A luncheon will be held at the post hall after the ceremonies, which will be open to the public.
The New Matamoras VFW Post 6387 will hold its annual Memorial Day services beginning at 11 a.m. Monday.
Services will begin at the river landing.
A luncheon will follow for the veterans at the post, then they will proceed to the Little Muskingum Cemetery at about 1 p.m.
A Memorial Day ceremony will be held at around 11 a.m. Monday in Newport Cemetery. St. Marys VFW and Pastor Doug Brown will present the service.
In Ripley, the Jackson County Veterans Memorial Day Service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Monday on the Jackson County Courthouse lawn with the posting of the guard and a POW/MIA ceremony by the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post 107.
At 11 a.m., there will be the posting of the colors, the national anthem and other opening ceremonies. The main speaker for this year's program will be U.S. Air Force veteran Mary Byrd. There will be the presentation of patriotic medals, "Taps," a rife ceremony, wreath laying and other activities during the ceremony.
The annual Cairo Memorial Day Parade will be 11 a.m. Monday in downtown Cairo, followed by a brief program at the Veterans Memorial in Cairo's Town Square.
On Saturday, the 53rd annual Memorial Ceremony at Sunset Memory Gardens on West Virginia 95 will begin at 2 p.m. with Jessica Lynch as guest speaker.
The program will feature patriotic music, a flag raising, wreath laying, a rifle salute and "Taps," among other activities featuring representatives from various veterans organizations and Sunset. There will also be a roll call of deceased veterans between Memorial Day 2010 and Memorial Day 2011.
On Monday, American Legion Post 15 will begin its day with the posting of the colors and a breakfast at 8 a.m. at the post headquarters at 2505 Ohio Ave. in the traffic circle.
A full Memorial Day service will be at 10 a.m. at Parkersburg City Park with posting of the colors, a speaker, "Taps," a rifle salute and the laying of a wreath. The names of area veterans who have died since the last Memorial Day will be read.
Immediately following the City Park event, post members will then visit Cedar Grove Personal Care and Ohio Valley Nursing Home for a flag raising and other ceremonies with the help of veteran residents.
The Veterans Museum of the Mid-Ohio Valley will be open as usual on Memorial Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at its location at 1829 Seventh St. in Parkersburg.
The museum will also be holding a "Thank Our Veterans Cookout" from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day at the City Park picnic shelter next to the pond for any veterans and their families at City Park. The museum and other sponsors are supplying food and are asking those who wish to bring a covered dish.
Two Memorial Day services will be held in Ravenswood on Sunday in honor and remembrance of those who have died.
The first ceremony is set to begin at 1 p.m. at the old ferry landing in Ravenswood and is sponsored by the Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6669. The ceremony, which was originally started by a group called the Navy Mothers, is held each year to honor the Navy dead.
The ceremony will include the advancement of the colors, a rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner," comments from the Rev. Don Maxson of North Ravenswood United Methodist Church, the National Anthem sung by Ashley Mullins, "Taps" and a rifle salute. To conclude the ceremony, auxiliary members will lay flowers on the water in honor of the Navy dead.
The second ceremony will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the Ravenswood Cemetery. Sponsored by the Jackson County Citizen Band Radio Club, it will feature speakers and county and city officials along with representatives from law enforcement agencies and local veterans groups as special guests at the ceremony.
James McHugh, Jackson County's prosecuting attorney who was deployed overseas in 2010, will be the main speaker. There will also be performances by the Ravenswood High School Band and Ashley Mullins, organizers said.
In addition, the city of Ravenswood and the Ravenswood Recreation Commission will observe Memorial Day 2011 with a Community Picnic and Fun Day Entertainment beginning at noon Saturday at Riverfront Park.
The event will include cornhole and bocce ball tournaments, inflatables, concessions, live entertainment and a movie at dusk. Admission is free.
For more information, contact Ravenswood City Hall at 304-273-2621.