Gahanna residents will have many opportunities to remember veterans during Memorial Day ceremonies starting at local cemeteries and ending at the Gahanna Veterans Memorial, 75 W. Johnstown Road.

The theme at the Gahanna Veterans Memorial service, scheduled for 1 p.m. Monday, May 28, is Memorial Day Observance -- 150th Anniversary.

Becky Kneeland, a member of the Gahanna Veterans Memorial committee and wife of Mayor Tom Kneeland, said Tom's father, George Kneeland, wanted to build a memorial to honor veterans in Gahanna 20 years ago.

"He asked if Tom and I would help him," Kneeland said. "In 1998, the seed was planted, and thanks to a hard-working group of volunteers, it grew into the beautiful Gahanna Veterans Memorial that was officially dedicated in 2000."

She said seven of the founding members are no longer living, but their legacy of honoring veterans lives on.

"On this 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, I hope everyone stops for just a moment to pay respect to those men and women who served and are currently serving our country," she said.

The master of ceremonies for the program will be retired Gahanna-Jefferson teacher and administrator Dale Foor.

He will provide the welcome, lead the Pledge of Allegiance and conclusion, and introduce the dedication of Founders Field Plaques and the dedication of bricks.

These 17 individuals will be honored through the dedication of brick pavers bearing their names: Christian Braun, Cathy Cazorla, Roberto Cazorla, Chase G. Cockrell, Kenneth L. Cover, Thomas Flannery, Ralph D-J Fuhr, Robert M. Harger, Thomas J. Jacob, Robert Kinney, Alan Little Sr., Mary C. Little, Anthony Olivo, David Olivo, Douglas Olivo, Samuel Sethman and Robert A. Webster.

Jeff Spence, Gahanna's interim police chief, will be a guest speaker at the ceremony.

He was in the Ohio Army National Guard, serving during United States assignments and multiple foreign deployments.

The presentation of colors and a rifle volley will be provided by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Tri-Community Post 4719 and American Legion Post 797.

Prior to the service at the Gahanna Veterans Memorial, programs will be held at area cemeteries and the Creekside bridge by VFW Tri-Community Post 4719, VFW Post 4719 Auxiliary of Gahanna, American Legion Post 797 of Gahanna and Knights of Columbus Assembly 3037 of New Albany.

Services begin at 9 a.m. at Riverside Cemetery, 3840 Sunbury Road; 9:45 a.m. at Maplewood Cemetery, 4585 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road; 10:45 a.m. at Jefferson Cemetery, 870 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road; 11:30 a.m. at the Creekside Bridge in Gahanna; 12:15 p.m. at the Mifflin Cemetery, 218 Agler Road; and 1 p.m. at Gahanna Veterans Memorial.

Ernest Massie, commander of VFW Post 4719, said the groups would remain busy all day.

"We welcome all area residents to come and show their respect to and acknowledgement of our nation's fallen service men and women at these events," he said. "Our joint VFW Post 4719-American Legion Post 797 Honor Guard on Memorial Day proper will perform services at four cemeteries, the Route 62 bridge and at the Veterans Memorial. This is in addition to a number of separate events during this time period."

The Gahanna Lincoln High School band is scheduled to perform at Jefferson Cemetery, Creekside bridge and Mifflin Cemetery, and the New Albany High School band is set to play at Maplewood Cemetery.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla