County’s patriotism remains impressive tribute

Published 10:35 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

God bless America, our veterans, and the many wonderful, patriotic people of Lawrence County, Ohio.

On behalf of the entire Thornton family, I thank all of you for honoring our family veterans: my dad, William Luther Thornton; and my two brothers, Ronald Lee and William Martin Thornton.

We thank The Tribune for the fine article in Monday’s paper about all three. We thank the Memorial Day Parade Committee for making it possible to honor so many veterans each year.

Email newsletter signup

Our special thanks go to Ron Thomas, committee member and family friend, for making it all possible . We are appreciative to all who volunteered their time in attending meetings, handing out flags, and walking the streets to make the longest continuous, running Memorial Day parade in the United States the greatest one.

We are also appreciative to all parade participants, attendees and vendors.

During the parade, as we rode by the thousands of people watching, it brought tears of patriotic joy to my eyes to have numerous Lawrence County citizens along the parade route stand and clap in honor of our beloved family veterans. The certificates presented to our family members at the end of the parade, by the parade committee from our division commander, Ronald Thomas, will be treasured by us for generations to come.

The day before the parade our family had a reunion at Vesuvius Furnace picnic area. Forty-six people attended to celebrate the lives and military service of Dad, Ronnie, and Billy.

Dads only living sibling, Margaret Thornton Howard Kimes, attended with her daughter Agnes Howard Heaberlin. Aunt Margaret will be 95 in August.

Not only did she attend the picnic, she attended the parade. She is a fine example of family love and American patriotism for all of Lawrence County.

At the picnic, Pamula McKee Kearns, her husband and two children, came all the way from Coral Gables, Fla. to share her grandmother’s journals (Dad’s sister Marie’s granddaughter) and a letter from my grandfather’s brother, William J. Thornton (former Illinois Representative) that not only traced our family genealogy to Dr. Matthew Thornton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, but also to our country’s first president, George Washington. Janet Thornton Thommes (Huntley, Ill.) brought numerous photographs, one of our father and his uncle, George Dilley, from an Ironton Memorial Day Parade in 1939 that Aunt Margaret gave her many years ago.

We had 46 family members and friends attending the picnic were:

My special thanks go to Tracy Thornton Ruggles for her idea of the family reunion and for all the time and effort she pleasantly contributed to making the weekend a success, to Ron Thomas for his hours of coordination, communication and service; to Jim Volgares for assisting in getting military information for Dad, Ronnie and Billy; and to all of those who attended the reunion and parade.

Our family is proud of each of our many veterans, of our heritage, and we are proud to be Americans.

It is our prayer that God continues to bless the Thornton family, our veterans, the people of Lawrence County, our Tribune staff, our Memorial Day Parade and parade committee, and our wonderful country.

Thanks to all of you for making this past Memorial Day so special.

Marilyn Thornton Schraff

Former Ironton resident