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Memorial Day celebration set for Grove Hill

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By Lisa King

The spirit of patriotism will abound again this year when Shelby County celebrates Memorial Day.

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Memorial Day festivities will begin at Grove Hill Cemetery with a walking tour that will start from the chapel at 9:30 a.m. and take in some monuments of those who served in the armed forces, will be hosted by Friends of Grove Hill. Some of those deceased veterans served in the Revolutionary War.

After the tour, led by historian Mike Harrod, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1179 will conduct a Memorial Day Service at 11 a.m. at the chapel.

 “This is the day we honor those men and women who have died defending America,” Post Commander Roger Green said.

“We honor the veterans of every service, Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. It’s to honor them, both living and those who have passed on, and also to honor their families.

“When you look at the people who attend our service, a large majority of them have relatives who are buried there.”

The speaker will be retired Army Col. Ken Hudson, a Vietnam veteran who served for more than 30 years.  Born and raised in Shelby County, he now resides in the county near Simpsonville.

The Jr. Marine Corps ROTC unit will provide the color guard, and

Jim and Geri Morris will lead the singing.

Green said that on Saturday morning, Boy Scout Troop 137 from Finchville would be placing flags on veterans’ graves at Grove Hill that morning, and some members of VFW Post 1179 would be placing flags on some graves at Calvary Cemetery on 7th Street.

The tradition of holding a memorial service at Grove Hill on Memorial Day goes back a long time, said Green, who has been conducting the service for 8 years.

“I can remember speaking there back in the eighties, when it was just my family and Earl Saunders standing there,” he said.

“It’s really grown since then. Patriotism is something that never goes out of style. And this has been a very good year for the VFW; we’ve had a lot of support from people in the community, people have donated money, and Hubert Pollett gave us four brand new laptops in honor of his father, Ray, who was one of the early VFW commanders after World War II.

“He lost some toes on one foot in the war, but he did well all his life.”

Pollett, who said he plans to attend the ceremony, said he was glad to help out with the donation of computers for the post. They are now installed and operational; will training for vets and others will begin in June.

“I was happy to do that in honor of my father,” he said. “I remember, when I was just a small boy, he used to dress up in his uniform because the color guard for the post would go to different ceremonies.”