Community honors veterans at Memorial Day parade

by Chris Studor

A light rain didn’t stop Hinckley’s annual Memorial Day Parade as community groups, fire and police, local officials and even a mini car made their way down Ridge Rd. May 27.

Trustee Monique Ascherl, who served as this year’s parade organizer, gave the nod to begin the march as children eagerly anticipated catching gobs of candy thrown by parade participants.

Among groups that participated were the Hinckley Veterans Group, the Highland High School Marching Band, Hinckley fire and police departments, the Hinckley Chamber of Commerce, the Hinckley Women’s Club, Hinckley Cub Scout Pack 3520, Hinckley Girl Scout Troop 90715, Hinckley 4-H, Hinckley Garden Club, Aaba Dance studio, Medina County Commissioner Aaron Harrison, the Hinckley Citizen of the Year, Dave Manley, the Ancient Order of Hibernians and other local groups.

Once the parade arrived near the Hinckley Veterans Memorial, at the corner of Ridge Road and state Rt. 303, the parade paused for a brief ceremony. Deacon Bruce Dobbins gave the opening prayer and Boy Scouts lined the perimeter. Hinckley veterans Brian and Brad Neff placed a wreath at the memorial.

At the conclusion of the parade, the crowd gathered at the township administration building for ceremonies opened by fiscal officer Martha Catherwood. The raising of the colors was carried out by Police Chief Dave Centner and Fire Chief Jestin Grossenbaugh. The HHS Marching Band played the national anthem. Trustees Ascherl, Jack Swedyk and Cindy Engleman rotated reading off the names of Hinckley veterans who fought in every war beginning with the Civil War.

This year’s Memorial Day address was given by Medina County Commissioner Aaron Harrison. He opened his speech by explaining that the first national observance of Memorial Day occurred on May 30, 1868. Then known as Decoration Day and observed on May 30, the holiday was proclaimed by Commander-in-Chief John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic to honor Union soldiers who had died in the American Civil War. The general also called for the graves of veterans to be guarded and for visitors to walk the pathways to “testify to the present or coming generations that we have not forgotten, as people, the cost of a free and undivided republic.”

“The purpose of the holiday is to honor and acknowledge the courage and sacrifice of those who have fallen in their service to the nation in history’s most trying times,” Harrison said. “We offer our gratitude to their memories and take today to mark the contributions made by all of the brave men and women of our military who have served.”

Harrison added that while people love honoring veterans through parades and ceremonies, people should remember “the duty of participation.” He encouraged people to attend public meetings, become involved in nonprofits and work to improve the community.”

The marching band played taps leading into the flag-folding ceremony conducted by Hinckley Cub Scout Troops, 90715, 91092 and 91582. Veterans present were honored with carnations presented by members of Hinckley Girl Scout Troops, 90715, 91092 and 91582. The closing tribute was given by 2024 Hinckley Citizen of the Year, Dave Manley.

Catherwood thanked many who contributed to the festivities of the day including; Hinckley Chamber of Commerce, Hinckley Women’s’ Club which served donuts and water at the program, Minnehaha Water, David Chatham, Hinckley Garden Club, Bruce Dobbins, Commissioner Aaron Harrison, Hinckley Cub Pack 3520, Hinckley Girl Scout Troops 90715, 91092, 91582, Highland Marching Band and Hinckley Veterans Groups. ∞

Among the community groups marching in
the annual Memorial Day parade was the
Hinckley Chamber of Commerce.

Featured speaker at this year’s Memorial
Day festivities was Medina County Commissioner
Aaron Harris.

Photo (main/above): Local Cub and Boy Scout troops conducted a flag folding ceremony as their Scout master explained the meaning behind each fold. Photos by Chris Studor.