Mahoning Valley veterans prepare for Memorial Day

Vic Corneliussen of North Jackson and the Second Brigade places flags on veterans’ graves recently at Girard City Cemetery, where a Memorial Day service will take place at 11 a.m. May 29.

Veteran service organizations in the Mahoning Valley are preparing for the annual Memorial Day remembrance.

In Boardman, plans are in the works for the township’s 119th consecutive holiday event. Meanwhile in Lake Milton, American Legion Lake Post No. 737 is putting on the parade that will step off near the Mahoning Avenue boat launch ramp at 11 a.m. Memorial Day.

“Please join us as we renew our parade and service to honor those who have served, are serving, and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice while in military service to our country,” said Mark Luke, of the Boardman-Youngstown Kiwanis Club Memorial Day Committee, which is sponsoring the parade and service.

Luke said organizations should contact him at 330-518-6088; luke33@zoominternet.net if they would like to participate in the events.


Groups participating in the Boardman parade are to assemble at Boardman Center Intermediate School, 7410 Market St., at 9 a.m., with the parade beginning at 10 a.m.

At 9 a.m., the Memorial Mile running road race will begin. It will follow the same route as the parade. Applications for the race are available at Chili’s, the YMCA and Second Sole.

The parade route begins at Center school, then proceeds north on Market Street (state Route 7) then east on Boardman-Poland Road (U.S. Route 224) to the township park.

Parade participants can be walking groups, one vehicle per organization, but participants are not allowed to hand out promotional materials.

Walkers are able to hand out candy (no throwing) as they walk along the street curbs while keeping pace with their sponsor vehicle.

Boardman native Army Lt. Col. Christopher Dobozy will pilot the parade flyover in a Blackhawk helicopter, with plans to land in Boardman Park and have both pilots participate in the memorial service, Luke said.

Following the parade, about 11 a.m., the Memorial Day service will be conducted at the Boardman Park Maag Outdoor Amphitheatre.

Keynote speaker will be U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta, who represents Mahoning County. Johnson is an Air Force veteran.

Lauren Johnson will lead the invocation, and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bill Moss will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and place a wreath in honor of the area’s deceased veterans.

MacKenzie Kelso, president of the Boardman High School National Honor Society, will place a wreath in honor of currently serving military personnel.

Boardman-Youngstown Kiwanis’ Luke will be master of ceremonies for the event, while music will be provided by the Boardman High School Wind Ensemble conducted by Tom Ruggieri as well as the Boardman High School Chorus conducted by Linda Smrek.

In the event of inclement weather, Luke said, the Memorial Day service will be held in the Boardman Park Community Center beginning at 10 a.m.

“We invite all veterans and community members to join us to recognize, remember and express our solemn thankfulness for the historical sacrifices of our military forces to preserve our way of life,” Luke said.


In Lake Milton, Mark Bianco, financial officer for Legion Post No. 737, is helping Holly Barr coordinate the parade.

The parade participants will start lining up at 10 a.m. They will meet at the parking lot of Mahoning Avenue boat launch ramp, Bianco said.

Bianco said he is excited about this year’s Memorial Day events because his uncle Joseph Bonanno will be grand marshal of the Lake Milton parade.

“He is 101 years old and served in the Army during World War II under Gen. George Patton. I am very honored as a veteran myself,” he said.

Bianco said the parade will go on rain or shine with the parade route ending at the Legion post parking lot off Milton Avenue. A few speakers will participate with the grand marshal getting a chance to visit with parade participants and watchers, and enjoy refreshments with other veterans and community members.

The theme this year is “Stars and Stripes Forever,” Bianco said.


In advance of the Memorial Day festivities, veteran groups have organized this month to decorate veterans’ graves in the Valley with American flags.

American Legion Post 472 placed flags May 13 on veterans’ graves at Lake Park Cemetery. Helping post members were volunteers from the auxiliary unit and local Boy Scout troops, Luke said.

Susan Krawchyk, executive director of the Mahoning County Veterans Service office, said a few veteran organizations decorated graves in Calvary Cemetery in Youngstown and Resurrection Cemetery in Austintown.

Krawchyk said the decorating will be done in advance of a veteran memorial prayer service set for 10 a.m. May 27 at Calvary Cemetery, 248 S. Belle Vista Ave., Youngstown.

Veterans with the Disabled American Veterans organizations in the county and the Austintown Fitch High School Junior ROTC unit will participate in a brief ceremony that includes the retirement of American flags with an honor guard, the national anthem rifle salute and the playing of taps. The public is invited to the cemetery.

Veteran organizations in the Girard area had decorated graves in both Girard City and Belmont cemeteries.

American Legion Post 15 will be sending volunteers to Poland Riverside Cemetery on May 27 to post American flags on veterans’ graves.

Memorial Day events

BEAVER TOWNSHIP — A prayer service is scheduled at 11 a.m. Memorial Day for the veterans memorial in the township cemetery at the corner of state Routes 164 and 165 in North Lima. Guest speaker will be Lt. Col.Scott Allen, chief public affairs officer for the 910th Airlift Wing out of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station in Vienna.

CAMPBELL — A Memorial Day service will be at 10 a.m. at Campbell Memorial High School. The speaker will be police detective Joseph Pavlansky, who served in the Middle East. Mayor Bryan Tedesco also will speak, and his secretary, who also is a veteran, will read the names of the 99 Campbell residents who have died in service to their country.

CANFIELD — Memorial Day services will be at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Plaza on the Canfield North Green. Speaker is Leo Connelly, commissioner with Mahoning County Veterans Service Commission. Following the ceremony, procession to the Canfield East Cemetery for a second brief ceremony will take place to honor deceased Canfield veterans. A final ceremony will take place at the Canfield War Vets Museum, where names have been added to the Wall of Honor. Nonperishable food items are being collected for the Zion Lutheran Church Veterans Food Bank.

GIRARD — The ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Memorial Day at the Girard City Cemetery sponsored by Girard Veterans Council. Short biographies of deceased local Vietnam veterans will be presented by Girard High School class presidents from grades nine to 12th.

HUBBARD: Ceremony will be at 10 a.m. Memorial Day at Union Cemetery and then to the war memorial. The dedication of the Purple Heart Veterans Memorial Bridge will be at 9 a.m. June 3. The bridge is located next to the old Stiver Chevrolet dealership.

LAKE MILTON — The Memorial Day parade will start lining up at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Mahoning Avenue boat launch ramp and ending at the American Legion Post parking lot off Milton Avenue. Grand marshal will be Joseph Bonanno, 101, who served in the Army during World War II.

McDONALD — Memorial service will be at 1 p.m. May 28 at the War Memorial in Woodland Park, corner of Fifth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

POLAND — The parade in the village is expected to step off at noon on Memorial Day on Elm Street.

To include a Veterans Day event, email to society@tribtoday.com.


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