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Show of Patriotism

Love for country is what propels parents to raise patriotic children and love for country is what drives those children to fight and die for their country, and all of them are heroes, Ohio Department of Natural Resources Supervisor Dean Palmer told Navy Night attendees Thursday evening.

The service at the Center Street Landing honors the sea-going services, a particular pleasure for Palmer, who served in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Forrestal.

“I can’t tell you what this means to me personally,” Palmer said.

Palmer told the attendees that while popular culture may have a different definition of the word hero, in his opinion, heroes are first the parents whose love and guidance produce strong children and then the children who heed the call to serve their country.

“I think the mother who gets out of bed in the middle of the night to nurture that child who will soon serve our country is a hero,” Palmer said.

A hero is also that man or woman who leaves their home to put themselves in harm’s way for the good of their nation, Palmer said.

In his invocation, the Rev. Chad Burns noted that Memorial Day for many is a somber occasion.

“Tonight we take the time to lift up heavy hearts for whom Memorial Day is more than just a mere diversion,” Burns prayed.

Mayor Rich Blankenship issued a proclamation in honor of Navy Night.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper was master of ceremonies. The AmVets 5293 provided the color guard and gunnery salute, while the Rock Hill Alumni Band played patriotic music selections. Girl Scouts from the Central Christian Church tossed flower petals into the Ohio River while the ODNR Division of Watercraft dropped a wreath into the water from a boat just offshore. Participating for the first time in years, Marathon Petroleum staffers blew their boat horn and sprayed plumes of water as the ODNR staffers dropped their wreath.

Attention now turns to Woodland Cemetery and the service there at 2 p.m. Sunday. The grand finale is the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade at 10 a.m. Monday.