Ohio County 2016 Memorial Day

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The annual Ohio County Memorial Day ceremonies were held Monday, May 30th on the courthouse lawn after a parade up Main Street.

Harold Hayes served as grand marshal off the parade. He served in the Navy Seabees from Feb. 3, 1955 to Jan. 27, 1959 served in Morocco and is the only Ohio County serviceman to serve in Antarctica. He and his wife Laverne

had four children- Debbie, Billy, Judy and Michael, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Veterans Officer Bill Parks was emcee of the event.

Gary Copeland sang the National Anthem as he has for many years but not before asking everyone to join him.

Copeland told about elementary school students were stopped from singing the National Anthem at ground zero in New York. The people represented by the crosses on the courthouse lawn paid the sacrifice for us to do that, he noted.

“We gather today, asked nobody’s permission, like we do every year,” the lifelong businessman added. He asked everyone to “express your freedom in song which all of us are due because of the crosses behind me.”

WWII Charles Davis and Gerald Bush White were recognized in the crowd. Korean War, Vietnam War and others were asked to raise their hands.

Col. Jim Swanson M.D. was guest speaker. He is a graduate of West Point where he became a 2nd lieutenant. He served five years in the Army in air defense artillery.

He began his medical career in 1980 at the University of Kansas. In 1982 he joined reserves. He served from 1982 to 1993 in the Army Reserves when he was honorably discharged as a major. He returned in 2008 returned to three tours as colonel in the medical corps as part of the 256th combat support hospital in Sharonville, Ohio.

Swanson opened by admitting he had treated many of those in attendance through his practice in Lawrenceburg and at DCH, as well as the V.A. Hospital in Cincinnati.

From a small town in Kansas, his uncle elected to Kansas legislature, where he served with Sen. Bob Dole (whose grandparents are buried in Rising Sun).

While in Afghanistan in 2011, he had a tap on the shoulder. Do you know any Wilsons? From Rising Sun? It was Col. Todd Wilson (son of Mike and Shelia Wilson) and they spoke of Rising Sun basketball and his parents.

“Freedom is not free. I can attest to that after 45 years working with the military,” he admitted. “Today is not solemn day of mourning but of reverent celebration.”

His mom and dad served in WWII and grandfather in WWI with his brother serving in the Air Force.

He pledged to make sure leaders not to forget about those still missing.

A similar theme of speeches made included “a sacrifice for others, unselfish devotion to duty, willingness to go beyond the ordinary, and commitment to family and to each other.”

Commander Roger Hilligoss read the names of those who passed away this past year. They included: William Rowling, Michael Powell, Charles McCardle, Edmund Malone, Lionel Turner, Leslie Jackson, Shirley “Bob” Estes, Donald Lillie, Kenneth Sims, Raymond Walcott, Robert Sullender, Hubert Colen, Ross Smith, Earl Conner, Larry Jeffries, Gerald Brown, Gordan Ramsey, James Lonnie Holder, C. Brown Gordan, James D. Humphrey, Marvin Powers and Wayne Caplinger.

The Rising Sun Marching Band had two selections, Bailee Bostic sang God Bless America and the Color Guard did the 21-gun salute followed by taps by Angelo and Claudio Gallegos and bagpipes by Mark Morton. Chaplain K.C. Snyder gave closing prayer.