Robert E. Grim, who lives near Sabina and serves as national commander of the Sons of Veterans Reserve (SVR) — the military department of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) — recently led the 65th annual Gettysburg Civil War military parade in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
Grim holds the SVR rank of major general. The parade is the highlight of ceremonies held each year in Gettysburg commemorating President Abraham Lincoln’s now famous Gettysburg Address delivered on Nov. 19, 1863, during the dedication of a new national cemetery for the soldiers who died that summer during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Under clear skies and 45-degree temperatures, an estimated 20,000 spectators lined the streets of Gettysburg on Nov. 20 to watch more than 4,000 members of the SVR and Civil War re-enactors, both Union and Confederate, march through Gettysburg to commemorate President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.
The parade is organized and sponsored by the SVR.
Grim is a U.S. Air Force Vietnam War veteran and a member of the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame. He is also a past national commander-in-chief of the SUVCW.
A retired Miami Trace High School American history teacher, Grim is active in the Masonic fraternity. He is a past district deputy grand master of the 8th Masonic District, and he is a past president of the Clinton County Knights of the York Cross of Honour Club.
The parade originated in 1956, following the death of Albert Woolson at the age of 109. He was the last surviving member of the Union Army and the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), which named the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War as its legal heir.
In addition to the Remembrance Day Civil War military parade, the SVR conducts a wreath laying memorial service every year at the statue of Woolson placed on the Gettysburg National Military Park Battlefield by the SUVCW in 1956. Several hundred people attended the event.
Several members of Henry Casey Camp No. 92 SUVCW participated in this year’s Remembrance Day events; including camp secretary Shane L. Milburn who is a past Ohio Department Commander and a member of the national SUVCW Council of administration and Jared Robinson, James L. Grim, Irven Cassio, Michael Cassio and Joshua Cassio.
At an SVR awards ceremony honoring outstanding SVR members for their accomplishments during the year, Milburn was awarded the SVR Distinguished Service Medal for his work as adjutant of the SVR 3rd Military District, which encompasses Ohio, Kentucky, Indian and Michigan; and his work as commander of Company C, 20th Ohio Volunteer Infantry.
He also received a certificate of commendation for serving with the SVR Color Guard at the national encampment (convention) of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War held in early August of this year in St. Louis, Missouri.
Remembrance Day closed with the annual military ball conducted by the Sons of Veterans Reserve at the Wyndham Hotel. Over 400 dancers attended the ball. Each year all the proceeds from the ball are donated to the Gettysburg National Military Park for monument preservation.
To date the SVR has made donations totaling almost $90,000.