Navy Night to honor sailors, coast guardsmen

Published 9:49 am Tuesday, May 21, 2013

As has been the tradition for years, the somber Navy Night ceremony will kick off events Thursday for Lawrence County’s Memorial Day observance.

The service, which honors past and present members of the sea-going branches of the military, will begin at 7 p.m. at the Center Street Boat Landing.

Lou Pyles, Ironton-Lawrence County Parade Committee member, said the group works hard to prepare for the service each year to show respect and gratitude to the military members who fought, and are still fighting, to keep this country free.

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“Sometimes I will see people there that I know in the community,” Pyles said. “Veterans who have been in the Navy or the Coast Guard. It’s really nice to see them. The people that I do talk to, they are really appreciative that the committee puts this together every year. … A lot of people are really happy that we have the program on the river. It’s very solemn at times. I just enjoy it. Especially when we have a beautiful sunset.”

This year’s guest speaker will be Lt. Commander Taylor George of the Navy Operational Support Center in Eleanor, W.Va.

The master of ceremonies will be Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper. Ironton Mayor Rick Blankenship will give a proclamation.

In addition to the naval reserve taking a part in the service, area veterans groups will participate. The Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 8850 will present the flags and give a gunnery salute. The American Legion Post 433 will participate with its honor guard. Boy Scout Troop 106 will perform a flag folding ceremony.

The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office marine patrol will place the memorial wreath in the river.

The Ohio University Community Band will perform. The Rev. Andy Ramey will give an invocation and benediction.

Memorial Day observances continue at 2 p.m. Sunday with the annual ceremony at Woodland Cemetery. Special speaker will be Dave Barker, AmVets State Veterans Service Officer.

The 145th annual edition of the parade kicks off at 10 a.m. in downtown Ironton.