Decorations bring honor, glory to Perry’s war dead

Lighting has been installed at the Veterans Memorial Park at Eighth and Bateman streets in Perry, where Memorial Day services will be held Monday, May 29 at 1 p.m. Photo courtesy Minburn American Legion Post 99

Just in time for Memorial Day, new lighting has been installed in order to further beautify the Veterans Memorial Park at Eighth and Bateman streets in Perry and to bring honor and glory to the war dead of Dallas County.

Memorial Day services will be held in the park Monday, May 29 at 1 p.m.

Upgrades to the park began last May, when flagstones were replaced. This spring has brought newly planted flower beds, including a vast field of poppies, traditional symbol of Decoration Day, the original name for Memorial Day.

On the first official Decoration Day — May 30, 1868 — Ohio Rep. James A. Garfield, a former general and future U.S. president, addressed a crowd of 5,000 gathered at Arlington National Cemetery:

“Hither our children’s children shall come to pay their tribute of grateful homage,” Garfield said. “For this are we met today. By the happy suggestion of a great society, assemblies like this are gathering at this hour in every State in the Union. Thousands of soldiers are today turning aside in the march of life to visit the silent encampments of dead comrades who once fought by their side. From many thousand homes, whose light was put out when a soldier fell, there go forth today to join these solemn processions loving kindred and friends, from whose heart the shadow of grief will never be lifted till the light of the eternal world dawns upon them.”

Veteran-honoring improvement have also been made in Violet Hill Cemetery, where volunteers gathered on the morning of Saturday, May 20 in order to place flags on veterans’ graves.

The Perry School Foundation secured a Bock Family Foundation grant in 2022 for a 30-foot, telescopic flagpole for the veterans section of Violet Hill Cemetery, where the 2020 derecho destroyed several smaller flagpoles.

Fundraising by the Perry School Foundation has now replaced all the damaged poles with new 15-foot flagpoles, each bearing a 4″ x 8″ plaque at its base that recognizes the pole’s donor or dedicatee.

Improvements in the cemetery, honoring veterans, have been steady in recent years. The four military figures were erected in 2018, and the base of the Grand Army of the Republic obelisk was repaired in 2016. In 2015 the Perry Historic Preservation Commission completion the first exhaustive compilation of U.S. veterans buried in Violet Hill Cemetery in Perry.


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