The communities of Alexandria, Croton and Johnstown began remembering veterans with tributes on Friday and will continue to pay respects through Memorial Day ceremonies.

The communities of Alexandria, Croton and Johnstown began remembering veterans with tributes on Friday and will continue to pay respects through Memorial Day ceremonies.

Bruce Tolle, commander of Johnstown American Legion Post 254, said the group's honor guard was scheduled to participate Friday morning at Maple Grove Cemetery in Alexandria, where elementary school children planned a program to honor veterans buried there. The legion's honor guard was scheduled to provide a rifle volley salute.

During services set for today (May 30) at Miller United Methodist Church, Johnstown Legion members will post colors before the 10 a.m. worship service and retire the colors afterwards.

"The service will, to a large degree, be a tribute to veterans," Tolle said.

Johnstown's Post 254 will kick off Memorial Day at 10 a.m. Monday during the annual Croton and Hartford Township Memorial Day services on the town square.

Jack Debolt, Croton master of ceremonies, said an estimated 300 to 350 people will attend the ceremony.

"I know there are a lot of people originally from Croton who come back for that service," he said. "It's amazing if you're one of the first up on the hill at the Hartford Cemetery to watch the number of people walking down the road to the cemetery. I can't explain it. But there's always a good crowd. It's a good, meaningful service that brings people back."

He said Memorial Day services have been a tradition there for at least 85 years.

Croton Church of Christ Pastor Dan Hamilton will be Monday's main speaker during the service on the square.

His message will be titled "Teach Your Children Well," reminding youth about the sacrifices that were made for freedom.

"I'll remind them what happened and instill values and patriotism that we so easily forget," he said. "A key is that kids are included and it's centered on them so they understand."

Debolt said the Northridge High School band will play and Croton resident Jenna Wolfe will sing the National Anthem.

Local Boy and Cub Scout troops of Croton will provide a flag raising at the square and cemetery.

In addition, children will place flowers provided by the Croton Garden Club on the graves of veterans.

The Johnstown American Legion Post 254 honor guard will provide a rifle volley salute at the cemetery, where guests will also see a flyover by the Ohio Air National Guard.

After the cemetery service, an art show of Northridge students' work will take place at the Hartford Library.

The Post will conclude its remembrance services at Green Hill Cemetery in Monroe Township in a ceremony that begins at 11 a.m. Post members will again provide a rifle volley salute.

Johnstown-Monroe High School's Big Red Band will offer a patriotic medley, and several guest speakers will pay tribute to the more than 650 veterans buried at Green Hill.

A closer look