While some Memorial Day observances in and around Highland County will still not be quite what they were before the COVID-19 pandemic, several are returning to a full schedule activities.
Following is list of what several communities reported to The Times-Gazette:
In Hillsboro, VFW Post 9094 Commander Rick Wilkin said this year’s Memorial Day observance will still be modest, but no less important. Thirty-nine new bricks containing the names of honored veterans were recently installed at the Highland County Veterans Memorial at the courthouse, where the annual observance will be held Monday, May 31.
“We’ll be having the service at 10:30 (a.m.) and it probably won’t be as big as in the past,” Wilkin said. “There won’t be any bleachers this year, but next year we hope we’ll have them back.”
He advised those planning to attend to bring lawn chairs to the ceremony, which this year will especially honor all veterans of World War II, in addition to two men who were to be recognized for their service during the December 1944 German counter-offensive also known as the Battle of the Ardennes.
“We have two veterans we’re planning to honor that were in the Battle of the Bulge,” Wilkin said. “Herman Holt is one of them, and I believe he’s 101, and the other is Mac McCray, who I think will be 98 this year.”
Maj. Matthew Morrow (USAF/Ret.) is slated to be the keynote speaker, and Wilkin said there will be certificates of recognition for all of the World War II veterans, in addition to special certificates awarded to Holt and McCray.
Following the ceremony, he said the Highland County Veteran’s Honor Guard will go to both the Catholic and Hillsboro cemeteries to honor veterans interred there.
“They’ll also be going to Sinking Spring, and we’ve also got a crew from the Honor Guard going to Buford and Mowrystown.” he said.
In Greenfield, the observance will also not quite look like past years, but there will be an event to honor those who have given their lives in the preservation of freedom.
Greenfield City Manager Todd Wilkin said this year’s recognition will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, May 31 downtown. After recognition is performed there, those observing are welcome to go to the Greenfield Cemetery where the commemoration will continue. Wilkin said he hopes there are a few singers to volunteer at the cemetery and a speech to recognize “the heroes who gave up their life for the call of freedom.”
In Pricetown, the annual Memorial Day activities will be held Monday, May 31. A march to Barker Cemetery will begin at 10 a.m. Pricetown Church of Christ Minister Daryl Mount will present the message and Chelsey Ojeda will be the honored veteran.
Activities will move to the Pricetown church for a program at 11 a.m. featuring patriotic songs, pledges to the flags, the Gettysburg Address, a keynote address, and the honoring of all veterans. The traditional Quilts of Honor will also be presented.
The keynote speaker will be Mark Faust, Lynchburg-Clay social studies teacher and history expert. Following the cemetery march and the church program, the annual community dinner will be served in the fellowship hall beginning at noon. The Pricetown Church of Christ provides the meal free to the public until 1:30 p.m.
In Buford, Memorial Day services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 31 at the Buford Cemetery. The observance will include a speaker, the Whiteoak High School Band and the Highland County Honor Guard.
In Leesburg, American Legion Post 568 will sponsor a Memorial Day service at 10 a.m. Monday, May 31 at the veterans’ memorial downtown. Everyone is invited.
In South Salem, the annual Memorial Day program will be held Monday, May 31 and all children are invited to march. The parade starts at 2 p.m. with lineup beginning at 1:45 p.m. behind Buckskin Elementary. Children will place bouquets of fresh flowers on the graves of soldiers after the parade, then there will be a program with South Salem resident Terry Parker serving as the guest speaker. There will not be a strawberry social this year.
In Bainbridge, the village, Bainbridge Community Center and American Legion Post 14 will hold a Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 31. Those participating should arrive at 1:30 p.m. at Maple and Third streets (one block north of Main Street). The parade starts promptly at 1:45 p.m. and ends with a ceremony at the Bainbridge Cemetery at 2 p.m. Kids are welcome to decorate a bike, trike, wagon or stroller. Participants will receive a prize.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.