Gahanna residents will have many opportunities to pay respects to those who served their country on Memorial Day, May 29.
Among them will be a ceremony at 1 p.m. at Gahanna Veterans Memorial, 73 W. Johnstown Road, where the theme is "In Memory of Many, In Honor of All."
Becky Kneeland, a member of the Gahanna Veterans Memorial Committee, said she's excited to host guest speaker Richard Gandarillas, a Gahanna resident who was inducted in the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 2014.
Gandarillas is a U.S. Navy veteran and past president of the Gahanna Kiwanis Club.
He helped organize a local petition drive to honor the all-Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers, with a Congressional Gold Medal, a recognition achieved in 2014.
Gandarillas comes from a family of veterans, including his father and two brothers, who served in the U.S. Army.
The ceremony also will include a welcome by Stacia Naquin, a long-time volunteer with the USO.
The presentation of colors and a gun salute will feature members of the Gahanna Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4719 and American Legion Post 797.
The Rev. Dax Welsheimer, of WCVO Radio, 104.9 The River, will provide the invocation and benediction.
Jeff Lind, the Highland Piper, will play "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes and Bill Dilts will play taps.
Thirteen new memorial bricks will be dedicated during the service, Kneeland said.
Prior to the service at Gahanna Veterans Memorial, the community is invited to attend Memorial Day services involving the Tri-Community Post 4719, VFW Post 4719 Auxiliary in Gahanna, American Legion Post 797 and Knights of Columbus Assembly 3037.
The services will be at Riverside Cemetery, 3840 Sunbury Road, at 9 a.m.; Maplewood Cemetery, 4585 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, at 9:45 a.m.; Jefferson Cemetery, 870 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, at 10:45 a.m.; Creekside Bridge at 11:30 a.m.; and Mifflin Cemetery, 218 Agler Road, at 12:15 p.m.
Ernie Massie, commander of Gahanna VFW Post 4719, said the group starts fairly early, gathering at 7:45 a.m. to prepare for the first ceremony at the Riverside Cemetery.
"It's barely attended there," he said. "The majority there are Civil War soldiers and one Revolutionary War vet. We give the full military honors there. (Attendance) would show they aren't forgotten."
Massie said the wreath-laying ceremony at the Creekside Bridge is fairy unique.
"Most posts don't have the water to do wreath laying," he said. "The use of the Gahanna Lincoln High School band for three of the ceremonies and the New Albany High School band for one is an honor."
He said the service at Maplewood Cemetery in New Albany is done jointly with Knights of Columbus Assembly 3037 and has good attendance.
"It's a broader community event," Massie said.
He said 10 people will be in the military honor guard.
"Other participants pick up as the day picks up, with the largest at the brick memorial," Massie said.
"It's the idea someone basically spent their life for someone else and giving someone that due respect. Whether or not you believe in the cause, these people gave up their lives for someone else," he said.