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Navy veteran to speak at Carrollton Memorial Day observance

FPS staff report

Area communities are planning services this weekend in observance of Memorial Day. Information on ceremonies planned at Carrollton, Malvern, Moultrie and Leesville was submitted to The Free Press Standard.

Carroll County Commissioner Robert “Bob” Wirkner is the featured speaker at a Memorial Day Service May 27 at Westview Cemetery in Carrollton. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m.

Wirker, who was elected county commissioner at the November 2012 election, is a U.S. Navy veteran, former Emergency Management Agency (EMA) director, deputy sheriff and served as chief deputy for two administrations. He is a graduate of the 200th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy. Under contract for the State Department as an International Police Advisor, he served as the deputy director of the Wassit Province Police Academy in Iraq and, under contract with the Department of Defense, served as an embedded uniformed LEP with the Army in Baghdad.

He and his wife, Diane, have lived in the Carrollton area since their marriage in 1983.

Shawn Glasure, commander of VFW Fighting McCook Post 3301, will serve as master of ceremonies. Lexi Kilgore will sing the National Anthem, the Carrollton High School band will perform patriotic music and Pastor Kimberly Arbaugh of Harsh Memorial and Kilgore United Methodist churches will provide the invocation and benediction.

The annual Memorial Day Parade will be held in the village beginning at 10 a.m. Lineup will be on 3rd St. NE in front of Carrollton High School. The parade will march down N. Lisbon St., around Public Square and head south on S. Lisbon St. Parade participants are encouraged to attend the service at Westview Cemetery.

Charles R. Pearson, chaplain of Malvern American Legion Post 375 is the featured speaker for the Malvern ceremony, scheduled to be held May 27 in Bethlehem Cemetery. Pearson is a 1948 graduate of Malvern High School. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950 and retired in 1971 as a captain.

The day begins with breakfast in the Post home from 7-8:30 a.m. The annual Memorial Day Parade begins at 9 a.m. at Malvern High School, marches to the cemetery at St. Francis Xavier Church for a brief ceremony and then continues to Bethlehem Cemetery.

The public is invited to the Post home following the ceremony for a complimentary lunch. The Post home is located at the corner of Bridge and Grant streets.

The West Township Memorial Association will host services May 27 at Moultrie Chapel, located on SR 172. The march to decorate the graves will begin at 2 p.m. led by Don V. Cross American Legion Post 357 from Minerva. Sydney Lautzenheiser, a fifth grade student from Minerva elementary, will recite the Gettysburg Address. Patriotic music and Taps will be provided by the Minerva Community Band.

A program inside the chapel will feature retired Army Lt. Colonel Larry Ashbaugh from Akron. Special music will be provided by Brooke Lyons. Troy Haynam will give the invocation and benediction. Congregational singing will follow and, at the end of the service, ice cream will be served.

A Memorial Day service will be held May 27 at the cemetery in Leesville beginning at 11 a.m.

A covered dish dinner will be held in the First United Methodist Church immediately following the service at the cemetery. Those who can should bring a covered dish to share. Village council decided not to have a parade this years since Conotton Valley High School does not have a band and council felt a band was an integral part of the parade. 

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