McDonald honors fallen soldiers

More than 50 gather at Woodland Park for Memorial Day event

Tribune Chronicle / Bob Coupland McDonald Councilman Cliff DeZee, a Vietnam veteran who served from 1966-69, places a wreath Sunday at a marker honoring the 19 village residents who died during various wars. The wreath placement was part of the village’s Memorial Day ceremony at Woodland Park.

McDONALD — The 19 people from the village who died during wartime over the years were remembered Sunday with a special wreath placed in their honor during the annual Memorial Day service.

More than 50 people gathered at the village’s war memorial at Woodland Park. It was adorned with small U.S. flags and other patriotic decorations.

Fire Chief Todd Stitt said Memorial Day is “a day to remember those who have gone before us and to remember those who gave their lives in service for our country. May we always remember their valid deeds. May this ceremony deepen our reference for our dead and our loyalty to our country and its flag.”

McDonald Councilman Cliff DeZee, a Vietnam veteran who served from 1966-69, placed the wreath on the veteran’s memorial for those who sacrificed their lives for the freedoms others have today.

“We honor those who through their own self-sacrifice helped so many others by their patriotic service. Let us not forget their loved ones left behind,” Stitt said.

Maj. Scott Allen, chief of public affairs at the 910th Airlift Wing at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station, who was the keynote speaker and soloist, said it is important for all Americans to pause and reflect on the history of Memorial Day.

“For many, Memorial Day is a time for backyard barbecues, an extended weekend to spend with family and friends, and the unofficial start of summer; however, Memorial Day means so much more than that,” Allen said. “It is a time to remember those who not only answered the call to arms, but who were willing to risk everything to defend America and its interests. We must never forget their sacrifice, courage and bravery.”

He said ceremonies for Memorial Day across the nation remember those who died in service. Several are happening today in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.

“From these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave their last full measure of devotion. For what they sacrificed we must always live our lives as fully as possible and to give to our families, our community, our nation and our world,” Allen said.

The Rev. Shane Russo of Woodland Park United Methodist Church said, “This hallowed day is a way we honor our noble dead. Bless the thousands of disabled veterans and the homeless veterans in our land. Let us hope for the day when there will no longer be war or fear of war.”