Worthington again will honor those who served their country with a weekend full of solemn ceremonies and, of course, the grand Memorial Day parade.

Worthington again will honor those who served their country with a weekend full of solemn ceremonies and, of course, the grand Memorial Day parade.

The parade will step off at 10 a.m. Monday, May 30, at the corner of East Granville Road and Morning Street. It will follow a course west to High Street and south on High, ending at Walnut Grove Cemetery.

A memorial ceremony immediately will follow at the mound at Walnut Grove.

The parade, with nearly 100 marching units, is said by some to be the largest Memorial Day parade in Ohio. Units include bands, military units, floats, twirlers, cars and community groups.

Former police chief Mike Mauger will be grand marshal.

The American Legion Leasure-Blackston Post 239 sponsors the parade and ceremonies.

The service on the mound will feature the words of the Rev. Don Pendell, chaplain, and Col. Paul Craft, guest speaker.

A 46-year Worthington resident, Pendell has served as chaplain many times. The retired Presbyterian minister was a volunteer U.S. Army chaplain in Japan in 1953.

"Worthington has always been at the center of Memorial Day observances," he said. "This is one of the largest parades and memorial services in the state, and I've been privileged to serve as chaplain."

Craft is deputy commander for the 174th Air Defense Artillery Brigade of the Ohio National Guard. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves in 1983 and was commissioned into the U.S. Army in 1986. He lives in Columbus and is superintendent of Delaware City Schools.

Everyone is encouraged to attend the service at Walnut Grove at the end of the parade.

Observances actually will begin Sunday, May 29, when 1,300 handmade poppies will be placed on the graves of veterans at local cemeteries. The poppies were made by members of the ladies auxiliary of the American Legion post.

On Memorial Day morning, members of the post will begin services at 6 a.m. on the Village Green. The flag will be lowered to half-staff and "Taps" will be played.

The ceremony will be repeated at St. John, Flint, Resurrection, and Kingwood cemeteries.