Pickaway County residents will have several opportunities to participate in Memorial Day events Monday throughout the county.
Memorial Day services in the Ashville area include three stops, the first at 11 a.m. in the Harrison Township Cemetery in South Bloomfield. A second ceremony will be held at Floral Hills Memory Gardens at 1 p.m., followed by a ceremony at 2 p.m. at Reber Hill Cemetery. The Teays Valley High School Band will provide music for all three events. These events are coordinated through the Rick Brown Memorial VFW Post #7941 in South Bloomfield.
Darlene Weaver of the Pickaway County Historical Society will be the guest speaker for the Muhlenberg Township Memorial Day service this year. The parade will begin at 10:40 a.m. at the park in Darbyville and will feature the Westfall High School Marching Band and Harrisburg VFW Post #11208. The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. at Muhlenberg Township Cemetery.
The Williamsport American Legion Post #618 will host its annual Memorial Day program beginning at 1 p.m. at the Christian Cemetery. The group will then form a parade to the Springlawn Cemetery for a 2 p.m. program. The speaker this year is Mike Whitten, and music will be provided by the Westfall High School Marching Band.
In Circleville, the Soldiers Monumental Association will honor Morris L. Bayes who, at age 98, is Pickaway County's oldest living veteran. Bayes was born July 15, 1916, and was inducted into the U.S. Army on Oct. 28, 1941, earning the rank of sergeant before his honorable discharge on Oct. 26, 1945. Bayes was awarded the American Theater Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Defense Medal and Marksmanship Medal. He now resides in Muhlenberg Township.
Services hosted by Jack Mader, master of ceremonies, will begin with the ringing of the courthouse chimes at 8 a.m. Monday, followed by a ceremony at the High Street Cemetery at 8:30 a.m. The speaker at High Street will be Mayor Don McIlroy, who was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and served with the 8th Army 2nd Infantry Division Company B 2/23 Infantry stationed in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.
Ralph Ankrom and Alva (Frosty) Hoffman will serve as grand marshals for the Memorial Day parade that begins at 9 a.m. at the High Street Cemetery and travels west on High Street and north on Court Street to Forest Cemetery.
Ankrom served as a Circleville Township Trustee for 15 years and Pickaway County Commissioner for four years. He is a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II who served in the South Pacific. Ankrom rose to the rank of boatswain mate second class and served on the LSM 395 and LCI 868 during the occupation of Japan in 1945.
Hoffman served during World War II in the U.S. Coast Guard from Nov. 13, 1942, to April 25, 1946. Hoffman participated in specialized training in the Mounted Patrol and then to Foley Beach for additional training. He rose to the rank of third class petty officer during his service.
At Forest Cemetery, the speaker will be Sean Hampton, a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and later serving in the Tennessee Army National Guard, Regimental Support Squadron, 278 Armored Calvary Regiment. He served 12 years as a combat medic and achieved the enlisted rank of staff sergeant before being commissioned as a second lieutenant chaplain candidate. Twice deployed to the Middle East, Hampton has been awarded the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Iraq Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Armed Forces Medal, Marine Corps Reserve Medal and National Defense Medal.
Following the ceremony at Forest Cemetery, the group will proceed to Hitler-Ludwig Cemetery, where Dr. Doyne Wiggins will be the featured speaker. Wiggins graduated from Circleville High School in 1960 and taught school in the Logan Elm and Teays Valley school districts for 30 years. He has served as a pastor of the Outreach Ministries Church for the last 32 years and currently serves as chaplain and officer for the Circleville Police Department.
The bands from Circleville High School and Logan Elm High School also will participate in the Memorial Day services in the city.