Hamilton Police Chaplain Frank Smith, a retired Butler County Sheriff’s detective, said “This is a day that we gather at the final resting areas of so many men and women who have served and died for this country … this is a day that we pause and reflect on our blessings as a nation and the high cost that has been paid for those blessings by our military.”
In the memorial address, U.S. Air Force veteran Ken Calihan urged veterans to get involved in veterans organizations and encouraged graduating seniors to consider the armed forces.
“I used to think you served your country, you got out and you moved on … but when you get out of the armed forces, you are only getting started. You are a veteran forever and no one can ever take that away from you.”
Remembering on Memorial Day is only “a small token of gratitude compared to what they gave to us.”
The ceremony was followed by a laying of a wreath at the base of the memorial. Volunteers flagging veterans graves in Hamilton cemeteries.
The Middletown Parades committee led the way to create a virtual service at Woodside Cemetery where veterans’ grave sites were also marked by flags.
Middletown Mayor Nicole Condrey, a widow of a Navy veteran, served as speaker asking everyone watch to take a deep breath.
“Fill your lungs with the air of freedom. Fill your lungs with the early air that fallen heroes can no longer breath,” Condrey said. “I do this everyday for my husband.”