Opportunities aplenty to pay respects on Memorial Day
— Elkton’s Memorial Day parade will once again highlight a variety of county events to remember our fallen service members over the holiday period.
The parade will start at 10 a.m. Monday in downtown Elkton. The parade will begin at the corner of Bow and Main streets, travel north on Bow to Railroad Avenue and east to North Street. There, the procession will head south, turning left onto Main Street, then right onto South Street and ending at Howard Street, said Mary Jo Jablonksi, executive director of the Elkton Chamber and Alliance.
The slightly revised parade route was designed to pass the World War I Doughboy Memorial on Railroad Avenue. Today, the monument in front of the Elkton Armory commemorates the men and women in the county who have served or died during military service.
Leading the parade this year will be Col. James Davis, Aberdeen Proving Ground garrison commander, as the grand marshal.
Jablonksi said Rick Scavetta, a public affairs officer with APG, met with the Alliance in April about opportunities to involve the U.S. Army installation with the town. Jablonksi said the parade came up as an upcoming event and Scavetta contacted Davis about the opportunity to be involved.
Davis said this is his first time as a grand marshal and is an “extreme honor” for him.
“Memorial Day is a time to remind everyone who holds dear the ideals upon which America was founded that they should take pause and remember those who sacrificed everything,” he said in an email.
As the grand marshal, Davis will sit in a classic car and follow the color guard after the group performs, Jablonksi said. Davis said he and his wife, Michelle, and possibly other family members will accompany them. Jablonski said they will ride in Elkton resident Nobel McCoy’s 1966 Chevelle convertible.
“It is this love of country that unites us,” Davis said. “Nowhere is this love more apparent than when we come together to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
In addition to Davis, the parade will include many organizations and people, who will participate in the event.
The Elkton High School marching band will present Salute to the Armed Force, which includes a medley of military melodies, said Jessica Price, Alliance executive assistant. The Elkton Veteran Center will participate in the parade with eight vehicles carrying veterans and a few people carrying banners. The Daughters of the American Revolution’s Head of Elk chapter will have a float in the parade and the Knights of Columbia will participate in the parade with a pickup truck towing a trailer of veterans. The Military Order of the Purple Heart’s Cecil County Chapter No.
703 will have six people walking, three riders on a Korean War-era Jeep and a pickup truck with riders and flags.
Meanwhile, Elkton resident Ed Adams is also restoring a 1970 M35A2, “deuce and a half,” that will participate in the parade, Price said. The vehicle serves to celebrate and honor those who have served. Price said the town will have its own float in the parade which will carry elected officials.
The day before the parade, American Legion Cecil Post No. 15 in Elkton, located at 129 W. Main St., will host a remembrance ceremony and community luncheon starting at 2 p.m. Sunday. The event is open to the public and will feature a guest speaker, honor guard and performance of “Taps.”
In Port Deposit, members of the Jerry Skrivanek VFW Post No. 8185 will pay tribute to their namesake during a Saturday ceremony.
The post will conduct a remembrance ceremony at the grave of Jerry Skrivanek, the first local solider killed in World War II, at Harmony Chapel Cemetery at 10 a.m. They will follow that ceremony with another at Veterans Memorial Plaza, located in Marina Park in Port Deposit, at 11 a.m.
Both of those services will be followed by a luncheon at the post, located at 520 Susquehanna River Road. Post members also noted that members of the Auxiliary along with Troop 555 Cub Scouts will place flags at the graves of veterans in the northwest county, as well as some in Harford County and Pennsylvania, throughout the weekend.
In North East, Cecil County Memorial VFW Post No. 6027 will host its annual remembrance service at 2 p.m. Monday.
The public is invited to come hear speakers and dedications to the fallen during the service, followed by a wreath laying and a 21-gun salute from the 29th Division Association’s Honor Guard. Scouts will help bear the colors while North East students perform patriotic songs. A luncheon, open to the public, will follow the service at the post located at 815 Turkey Point Road.
For those south of the C&D Canal, VFW Chesapeake City Memorial Post No. 7687 will travel across the southern county to remember those who have passed. The public is welcome to meet officials at the post, located at 304 Basil Ave., on Friday and Satur- day to trek to 12 cemeteries in the area and two memorials in Chesapeake City. At each cemetery, an honor guard will conduct a 21-gun salute while VFW and Auxiliary members place flags at the grave of every veteran — typically more than 700 flags each year. If you would like to help in the effort, contact Cheri Brown at 443-406-5883.
In Perryville, American Legion Susquehanna Post No. 135 will host a remembrance ceremony starting at 11 a.m. on Monday. The ceremony, at the post located at 300 Cherry St., will feature guest speaker Maj. Gen. Kirk F. Vollmecke, program executive officer for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Vollmecke previously served as the deputy commanding general for the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, overseeing the security assistance program for the Afghan National Defense Security Forces in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Freedom’s Sentinel.
American Legion Mason Dixon Post No. 194 in Rising Sun will hold its service on Monday starting at 11 a.m. The remembrance ceremony, at the post located at 338 E. Main St., will feature patriotic music by the Rising Sun Middle School band and, weather permitting, an appearance by the Cecil County Fall Guys parachuting team just before the ceremony.
Prior to that, Legion post members will hold smaller ceremonies at West Nottingham Presbyterian Cemetery, Brookview Cemetery and Calvert Cemetery. They will also have a short ceremony at Veterans Memorial in downtown Rising Sun. Post members will also mark hundreds of graves at 12 cemeteries in the region with flags.
On Sunday, the post will host its annual chicken barbecue starting at 11 a.m., which benefits the post’s honor guard program.
A group of girls show their patriotism as they wait for Elkton’s Memorial Day parade to begin last year.
The Memorial Day parade in Elkton will start at 10 a.m. Monday, with the best spot to watch near the corner of North and Main streets.
Col. James Davis, Aberdeen Proving Ground garrison commander, will serve as the grand marshal in Elkton’s parade.