Waggoner Cemetery hosts Memorial Day celebration

| May 20, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE – Waggoner Cemetery celebrated Memorial Day with a service on Saturday, May 18. Pastor Herold Sprague of Pleasant Valley Baptist Church gave the opening prayer.

Sprague served in the army from 1965 to 1967 and worked as an engineer. He was stationed in France and Germany during his time in the military.

“I remember that everything was so different,” he said after the service. “When we got over there, the buildings were all so different and I just remember knowing that I was going into an entirely different environment.”

Michelle Carpenter, fiscal trustee for Oxford Township, was the speaker.

“More than 1.1 million men and women have died in wartime throughout our nation’s history,” said Carpenter. “This represents husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, extended family, our friends, and our neighbors. These are people who lived and worked and worshipped alongside us in our communities.”

Carpenter and Sprague then placed the veterans’ wreath by the flagpole and then the names of the 10 veterans who are buried in the cemetery were read. Newcomerstown Honor Guard gave the 21-gun salute and Taps was performed.

Kim Waggoner, great-great-great-grandson of Sam and Anna Waggoner, founders of the cemetery, was in attendance for the first time on Saturday. Kim is from Mt. Vernon and said he heard about the service from his cousin Brad, who has attended the service in the past.

“I thoroughly enjoyed it,” said Kim. “I had several family members in the service and when I get to go to things like this and realize what the military has done, we need to be thankful that we live in a great nation.”

Kim said his father is buried in Arlington Cemetery and served in the marines from 1945 through 1947.

The memorial service started in 1992 by members of the family. Arthur Cole from Upper Arlington has family buried in the cemetery and gave the Friends of Wagoner Cemetery $5,000 to start the service 28 years ago.

“Arthur set the tone,” said Carpenter. “There’s six generations of families buried over there, so I can’t not do it [the service]. It also gets some people like Kim here. He’s my cousin and I’ve never met him before. I’m also genealogy crazy, too, so when I get to meet new cousins, it’s like, yay!”

Mike Kobel Landscaping completed the edging and mulching at the flagpole and at the entrance sign, and Jade, John, and Landon, interns at AK Steel, placed the veterans’ flags in the cemetery the day before the service.

After the service, those in attendance was invited to the River Greens Banquet Hall for a covered dish lunch.

“I think it’s an honor,” said Sprague. “We should honor those who came home and those who didn’t come home. We should be more faithful in these Memorial Day services because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t be where we are at today. We wouldn’t have the freedoms we do today.”

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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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