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Sunderland honors town’s oldest veteran

  • Veterans and community members take part in an early Memorial Day ceremony May 27 in Sunderland. It featured a playing of taps, parade and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland, which featured a playing of taps, parade, and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland, which featured a playing of taps, parade, and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland, which featured a playing of taps, parade, and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland. ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland, which featured a playing of taps, parade, and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland, which featured a playing of taps, parade, and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland, which featured a playing of taps, parade, and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO

  • Veterans and community members take part in Friday's Memorial Day ceremony in Sunderland, which featured a playing of taps, parade, and 21-gun salute. RECORDER STAFF/ANDY CASTILLO



For the Gazette
Thursday, June 02, 2016

SUNDERLAND — In 1868, Union Army veteran John Logan, as commander of the veterans’ group the Grand Army of the Republic, issued an order calling for a day of remembrance for all soldiers killed in the American Civil War.

Nearly 150 years later, this commemoration has evolved into Memorial Day and one of Logan’s descendants delivered the invocation during Sunderland’s annual ceremony at Riverside Cemetery on Friday, May 27.

The Rev. Barbara K. Seamon, pastor of the First Congregational Church of Sunderland, thanked the dozens of people present and prayed that all people may one day live together in peace and harmony.

“This Memorial Day holiday is very important to me, both personally and as a citizen of this country,” she said.

Sunderland Recreation Coordinator Jim Ewen, who was in charge of the parade and ceremony, recognized resident Jim Williams, born on Memorial Day 1923, as the oldest living veteran in Sunderland. Williams was given a round of applause.

State Rep. Stephen Kulik, D-Worthington, said that Sunderland’s ceremony signals the start of Memorial Day weekend with its tribute to all the veterans who have served, especially those who have given their lives.

“You honor the past by showing up today, involving people of all generations. It’s great to always see so many young people here, participating in Sunderland Memorial Day observances,” Kulik said. “Thank you for always inviting me to participate. It’s a special day for me as well, as it is for all of you.”

Eighty members of the Frontier Regional Band played a medley of songs, including “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Two trumpeters played taps at the end of the ceremony.

Ewen then introduced the top male and female Sunderland students from Frontier Regional High School’s graduating class.

Alexander Smiarowski recited the Gettysburg Address delivered by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and Meghan-Grace Slocombe read “In Flanders Fields,” a poem by a Canadian doctor during World War I.

As Ewen read the names of all Sunderland residents killed during wars, people placed flowers near a wreath at the base of a flag flying at half-staff.