Youngstown Vindicator, May 21, 2023; By Guy Vogrin
Veteran service organizations in the Mahoning Valley are preparing for the annual Memorial Day remembrance.
In Boardman, plans are in the works for the township’s 119th consecutive holiday event. Meanwhile in Lake Milton, American Legion Lake Post No. 737 is putting on the parade that will step off near the Mahoning Avenue boat launch ramp at 11 a.m. Memorial Day.
“Please join us as we renew our parade and service to honor those who have served, are serving, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while in military service to our country,” said Mark Luke, of the Boardman-Youngstown Kiwanis Club Memorial Day Committee, which is sponsoring the parade and service.
Luke said organizations should contact him at 330-518-6088; firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to participate in the events.
Groups participating in the Boardman parade are to assemble at Boardman Center Intermediate School, 7410 Market St., at 9 a.m., with the parade beginning at 10 a.m.
At 9 a.m., the Memorial Mile running road race will begin. It will follow the same route as the parade. Applications for the race are available at Chili’s, the YMCA and Second Sole.
The parade route begins at Center school, then proceeds north on Market Street (state Route 7) then east on Boardman-Poland Road (U.S. Route 224) to the township park.
Parade participants can be walking groups, one vehicle per organization, but participants are not allowed to hand out promotional materials.
Walkers are able to hand out candy (no throwing) as they walk along the street curbs while keeping pace with their sponsor vehicle.
Boardman native Army Lt. Col. Christopher Dobozy will pilot the parade flyover in a Blackhawk helicopter, with plans to land in Boardman Park and have both pilots participate in the memorial service, Luke said.
Following the parade, about 11 a.m., the Memorial Day service will be conducted at the Boardman Park Maag Outdoor Amphitheatre.
Keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, who represents Mahoning County. Johnson is an Air Force veteran.
Lauren Johnson will lead the invocation, and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bill Moss will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and place a wreath in honor of the area’s deceased veterans.
MacKenzie Kelso, president of the Boardman High School National Honor Society, will place a wreath in honor of currently serving military personne
Boardman-Youngstown Kiwanis’ Luke will be master of ceremonies for the event, while music will be provided by the Boardman High School Wind Ensemble conducted by Tom Ruggieri as well as the Boardman High School Chorus conducted by Linda Smrek.
In the event of inclement weather, Luke said, the Memorial Day service will be held in the Boardman Park Community Center beginning at 10 a.m.
“We invite all veterans and community members to join us to recognize, remember and express our solemn thankfulness for the historical sacrifices of our military forces to preserve our way of life,” Luke said.