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Blissfield honors fallen veterans during Memorial Day service

| May 28, 2019

BLISSFIELD – Residents of Blissfield gathered together in the Blissfield Cemetery on Sunday, May 26 to remember veterans who have passed on whether during wartime or in peacetime. The Walhonding Rube Band began the service with the playing of our National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.

Pastor Clarence “Sonny” Easterday of the Clark Township Baptist Church gave the invocation and gave thanks to God for the opportunity to gather together as a community in an attitude of remembrance once a year. He also asked blessings on those who helped make the Memorial Day service possible and on those who were participating.

Cheryl Smailes then read the roll call of the honored dead and the names of the veterans were those who served in the following wars: The War of 1812, the Spanish American War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. The Walhonding Rube Band then performed, “Hosts of Freedom”. Immediately following, the Killbuck VFW Post 7079 performed graveside services which were in honor of Earl Mathias Stewart who served in the United States Army from 1951 through 1953 and repaired military watches during his service.

Smailes then gave the secretary’s report and Jennifer Eppley gave the treasurer’s report. The nominating committee then asked for any nominations for those who may be interested in conducting the service next year. Hearing none, the committee retained Jerry Swoveland as president, Smailes as secretary, and Eppley as treasurer.

After an offertory was taken, Commissioner D. Curtis Lee gave the Memorial Day address. Lee began his speech by giving the history of Memorial Day, which was originally named Decoration Day and was enacted by Gen. John A. Logan, leader of an organization for northern Civil War veterans. He commissioned the day for May 30 of each year and was originally celebrated as a day to decorate graves of Civil War veterans. The first Decoration Day was held in 1868.

After World War I, the day became a time to remember all veterans from all wars the United States had been involved with. The holiday was held on May 30 until 1968 when the government established it on the fourth Monday of May. Decoration Day was officially renamed Memorial Day in 1971.

Lee also talked about his family who has served our country, one of which was stationed in Guam and killed during World War II and another who served in the Navy prior to Vietnam and was burned in a boiler explosion. Lee currently has a nephew who serves.

“You see people separated from family for years and people who served in all kinds of conditions in blood and war, seeing things they can’t unsee,” said Lee. “You see people who lost their only son to war. As we go throughout this weekend, we want to remember all those who gave their lives for us and for freedoms we enjoy today. We want to thank all of those who serve at this time and thank all of those future soldiers who will serve at a future time. As we go to barbecues and parades this weekend, I hope we will take time to remember all who served.”

Easterday then gave the benediction and prayed that all would take time to pray for our country and to give wisdom to government officials. The Walhonding Rube Band ended with the playing of, “God Bless the USA”.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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