Rush County Veterans Service Officer Steve Land and a number of fellow local veterans recently met and completed plans for this year’s local Memorial Day service.
Beginning at 11 a.m. Monday (May 27), US Navy submarine veterans will present a “Tolling of the Boats” service at North Veterans Memorial Park Bridge.
That will be followed by a procession of fire, police and private vehicles carrying veterans to the veterans burial section located in the southwest corner of East Hill Cemetery.
While en route, the procession will make a number of brief stops to honor fallen veterans.
Prior to entering East Hill Cemetery, the procession will honor all lost US submarines and their crews by releasing a memorial wreath on the bridge that spans Flatrock River on SR 44.
The procession will make brief stops at the Civil War monument and the Ward W. Farlow Memorial Bridge. Farlow was one of the first casualties in the Normandy D-Day invasion of World War II.
Local U.S. Navy veteran and former county commissioner Tom Barnes, who served as an officer on nuclear submarines and who was recognized in 2011 by the local Elks as the Veteran of the Year for his continued service to veterans, was instrumental in the this year’s “Tolling Of The Boats” ceremony planning.
The “Tolling of the Boats is a solemn service that recognizes and pays tribute to both the boats and men of the of the U.S. Navy who lost their lives during World War II.
Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day and served as a means for citizens to decorate the graves of local soldiers who gave their lives during the Civil War, a tradition that began May 5, 1868, following a proclamation by then Union General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Memorial Day as we now know it was first observed May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Following the program at the Veterans Memorial Bridge, the procession will proceed south on Morgan Street to Fifth Street, then head to Main Street. The procession will travel Main Street south to Second Street, where it will turn east en route to their final destination, East Hill Cemetery following a stop at the Rush County Courthouse to honor local veterans who were killed while serving their country.
“This is always a special time in our community. Rush County has a long and proud tradition of service to the country since its founding almost two centuries ago. All of us can take pride in the sacrifice of those who gave the last full measure of devotion to the nation,” Sgt. Major Bob Brown (USMC retired) said.
Land, Barnes and other local veterans are asking that all county veterans participate in this year’s local Memorial Day event.
For additional information Land can be contacted at (765) 561-5445.
Contact: Frank Denzler @ 765.932.2222 x106