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"We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields."
-- Lt. Col. John McCrae, "In Flanders Field"
TWINSBURG -- The city will honor the country's fallen military men and women -- and specifically those 29 service members who gave their lives in four wars from the Twinsburg area -- during the 2017 Memorial Day Parade.
While there is celebration of those who gave all in defense of country, the day is somber for veterans, who often steel themselves at memories awakened during the holiday. The 2017 Twinsburg Memorial Day Parade will honor the Great War and the 117,465 U.S. service men and women lost during World War I.
"This is not a jocular holiday," says VFW 4929 Post Commander Joe Jasany. "This is a Memorial Day Parade."
The parade will muster in the parking lot of Twinsburg High School at 10 a.m., stepping off for the march down Ravenna Road to Twinsburg Township Square at 10:30 a.m. A flyover is scheduled for about 10:40 a.m. The parade will feature three divisions, honoring World War II and Korean War veterans, the city's safety forces, Boy and Girl Scout Troops and Young Explorers and city, township and Reminderville officials.
A ceremony on the Square is set to begin around 11 a.m. and will feature an induction and benediction, a 21-gun salute, Taps, a wreath-laying ceremony, speeches and a reading of "In Flanders Field."
It will also honor the area's 29 service members who died in four wars. A vast majority of those Twinsburgers and area residents were killed in the Civil War, at 21. Three were lost in WWI; four were killed in WWII and three were killed in Vietnam.
"We as members of our post do not want this city to ever foregt what a veteran has done for them," Jasany said. "Worldwide, people have to start opening their eyes to people defending the country whom you may not know about ... at militiary bases, protecting a border, wherever they are. The fate of the veteran cannot go by the wayside because there is nothing immediately in conflict. There are still things going on here, there and everywhere."
Members of VFW Post 4929 and Auxiliary urge parade-goers to put aside political differences and realize that service men and women -- and by extension the flag of the United States -- deserve respect.
"We'd like all people to stand and respect the flag when it passes," Jasany said. "We will hand out small flags, and we want people to show appreciation by acknowledging veterans as they walk by. And if you're able, please do stand when the flag passes."
And though every veteran is different, Jasany said a good thing to tell them, if you see one saluting along Ravenna Road, is: "Thank you for your service. They can't make it much simpler."
Twinsburg VFW Post 4929 and Auxiliary organize the parade each year. Those interested in participating can contact the VFW 4929 at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 330-425-7162.
There will be an open house at the VFW Post Museum on the Square after the service, and people can see the ongoing renovation of Veterans Park, next to the VFW Post 4929. A granite monument shaped as pentagon is being installed, and a 120-pound pair of solid brass boots will be mounted on top. Near the marker will be the inscription, "Gone but not forgotten." The park is expected to be dedicated later this year.