LIMA — Monday was a day to remember those who fought, served and died for our country.
Memorial Day 2019 was remembered with a parade down Main street in Lima and a wreath-laying ceremony at noon at the VFW.
Several veterans organizations laid a wreath at a mock casket inside the VFW in Lima.
The keynote speaker was Jefferson Award Winner Mike Melvin who works with Flag City Honor Flight.
He’s taking a group of Lima area veterans to visit the national monuments in Washington D.C. on September 24.
One of those going is 98-year-old French Smith, who also participated in the wreath-laying ceremony at the VFW.
Smith, an Army veteran, born and raised in Kentucky was involved in the World War II D-Day invasion of Normandy. He’s called Lima his home for nearly 50 years.
“I crossed the Atlantic Ocean four times. I was lucky, I went all through France. The first big town taken was Cherbourg,” Smith noted.
Smith is looking forward to traveling to Washington D.C. to see the World War II monument.
“That’s a privilege to me. That will be a good day for me,” Smith said.
Melvin says if any veterans who served prior to 1975 want to go on the upcoming Honor Flight to contact him through facebook or you can call him at 419-303-9280.
Lima wasn’t the only community to mark Memorial Day on Monday.
The City of Delphos hosted a parade and patriotic program at Veterans Memorial Park.
The Village of Lafayette also hosted a parade which included a ceremony afterward at the refurbished Civil War Monument.
Over the weekend, people nearly filled the Ottawa Metro Park for some camping fun.
“Yesterday (Sunday) it was packed. I don’t think there was one or two spots open and then today they all leave to get ready to go back to work or wherever they gotta go, yeah, it was almost empty by noon,” said Camp Host Mark Hall.
Motorists traveling in the region may have noticed more state troopers on the road as they were involved with an increased enforcement blitz in an attempt at making this Memorial Day Weekend a safe one. As of late afternoon Monday there were no reported fatalities in Allen, Auglaize, Putnam, Hancock or Van Wert counties.
The Wapakoneta post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said they worked 9 non-injury crashes and made 12 arrests for Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated. Other Highway Patrol offices in the region did not make those statistics available to us.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.