LETART — Letart Nature Park will once again be hosting a special “visitor” over Memorial Day Weekend.
The Letart Nature Park Development Organization (LNPDO) will welcome the Freedom’s Never Free Traveling World War II Memorial. Freedom’s Never Free is a non-profit organization located in Lancaster, Ohio whose mission is to honor the brave men and women who choose to serve and pay the cost of freedom proudly and without complaint, all the while displaying honor, integrity, strength, selflessness, character, loyalty, courage, respect, and duty.
As with last year’s Traveling Korean War Memorial, the Patriot Guard will be leading this year’s memorial escort.
The Patriot Guard Riders is a 100 percent volunteer, federally registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization which ensures dignity and respect at memorial services honoring fallen military heroes, first responders, and honorably discharged veterans. The public is encouraged to turn out to show their support as the escort travels through Pomeroy, Ohio, Mason, Hartford, New Haven, and Letart. The escort is tentatively scheduled to arrive at the Letart Community Center approximately at noon on Thursday, May 23.
In order to ensure the success of this event, the members of the LNPDO are seeking additional volunteers to help unload and set up the memorial following the escort to Letart on Thursday. The memorial will be open for viewing around the clock; therefore, volunteers are also needed to guard the memorial throughout the event. Volunteers will be needed to help take down and load the memorial on Monday, May 27, beginning at 1 p.m. Mary Grimm, LNPDO representative, noted heavy lifting will be involved.
Youth Day will be held on Friday, May 24 and schools are welcome to bring students this day to experience this living history lesson and participate in the ceremony to help honor those who have served this country.
The memorial will be open 24 hours a day on Friday, May 24 – Sunday, May 26 as well as during the morning hours on Monday, May 27.
The opening ceremony for the memorial will be held on Friday morning at 10 a.m. and on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. a Veteran Appreciation Ceremony will take place.
Grimm commented for the Veterans Appreciation Ceremony, members of the LNPDO are requesting information on any living World War II veterans in the immediate area. The individual’s information can be emailed to Grimm at firstname.lastname@example.org or sent by text message to 740-407-5337. Grimm wants the information sent by Friday, May 10 and is requesting to know the individual’s name, branch of service, military picture (if available), and any known facts about service record, so recognition can be given at the ceremony.
This is a free, non-political event, open to all wishing to honor veterans.
The Letart Nature Park is located at 23669 Sandhill Rd. in Letart.
For updates on this event, individuals can visit https:\\letartnaturepark.com. For more information on this event or to help volunteer, individuals may contact Grimm, Marilyn Kearns at email@example.com or 304- 674-0849; or Katrinka Hart-Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-857-2855
Erin Perkins contributed to this article.