There will be a number of Memorial Day observances in Highland County over the weekend, when the nation honors its military members who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Memorial Day is Monday, May 29.
In Hillsboro, this year’s observance will begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial on the west side of the Highland County Courthouse. Hillsboro VFW Post 9094 Commander Rick Wilkin said the guest speaker will be Jake Wehr from the Save A Warrior program in Danville. Wilkin said the event will be much like prior ones that have featured a table set up to honor POWs and MIAs, the Pledge of Allegiance, a wreath laying, the flag being lowered to half-staff, patriotic music, and a gun salute from the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard. A light lunch will be served at the VFW Post in Hillsboro following the ceremony. The entire event is open to the public.
In Buford, a Community Memorial Day Service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 29 at the Buford Cemetery. There will be an opening prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance by Bob Cockrell, Buford Church of Christ minister; a musical medley and the national anthem by the Whiteoak High School Band; the guest speaker will be Major Morrow, retired U.S. Air Force; there will be a rifle salute by the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard; Taps will be played by the Whiteoak band; and the closing prayer and remarks will be by Glen Hess, Union Church of Christ elder.
In Pricetown, annual Memorial Day activities will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 29. The usual march to Barker Cemetery will begin at 10 a.m. Pricetown Church of Christ Senior Minister Daryl Mount will present the message and Quinton Blankenship will be the honored veteran. Everyone will then return to the church for the annual program at 11 a.m. featuring patriotic songs, pledges to the flags, the Gettysburg Address, a keynote presentation, and the honoring of all veterans. The traditional Quilts of Honor will also be presented. The keynote presentation will be given by Mike Labig, who served in the U.S. Navy, traveled to more than 30 countries and served as a protestant lay chaplain on one of the ships. The annual community dinner will be served in the church’s fellowship hall beginning at noon. The Pricetown Church of Christ provides the meal free to everyone. It will be served until at least 1 p.m.
In Mowrystown, a Memorial Day Parade will start at 1:30 p.m. from Whiteoak High School. The service will begin at 2 p.m. at the cemetery. The speaker will be Alex Butler, a United States Army Reservist lieutenant and the Highland County recorder. The Highland County Veterans Honor Guard and Whiteoak High School Band will be part of the observance.
In Leesburg, the village will hold its Memorial Day service at 2 p.m. Monday, May 29 at the Veterans Memorial in downtown Leesburg and will feature Kevin Stuckey from the Leesburg Church of Christ as the main speaker. Everyone is invited to attend.
In Lynchburg, Lodge No. 178 F&AM will present a Memorial Day Parade starting at 12 noon at the Old School Park on Pearl and Sycamore streets. The parade will proceed to the Lynchburg Masonic Cemetery where there will be a program. The village is hosting a cookout immediately following the program in the center of town.
In Greenfield, a city spokesperson said the VFW is holding an observance, but a VFW spokesperson said details were not available.
In South Salem, the annual parade will begin at 2 p.m. with those participating asked to line up behind Buckskin Elementary by 1:45 p.m. A program will be held in the South Salem Cemetery following the parade, where flowers arranged by the South Salem Garden Club will be laid upon the graves of veterans by children before the program begins. The annual South Salem Methodist Church Strawberry Social starts after the parade. The menu includes creamed chicken, ham salad, potato salad, green beans, cake, ice cream and strawberries.
The Sardinia American Legion and Auxiliary will be at Tanker’s Truck Stop, Tractor Supply, Family Dollar, 1st Stop and the Sardinia Fuel Mart from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, May 27, to accept donations and hand out poppies. The poppy has become an internationally recognized symbol of the lives sacrificed in war and the hope that none died in vain.
The main difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day is that Memorial Day is a day to remember those who have died in service to their country, while Veterans Day is a day to honor all those who have served, regardless of whether they died in service.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.