RICHMOND - Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Randy Proffitt will deliver the keynote address as part of Richmond's Memorial Day observance on May 31.
"Why Soldiers Fight" is the theme of the Richmond native's speech to be delivered at Richmond Union Cemetery following the village's parade, which gets under way at 11 a.m.
Participants in the parade, a longtime project of the Richmond Lioness Club with assistance from Boy Scout Troop 20, should report by 10:15 a.m. to the site of the former Richmond Elementary School for lineup instructions, according to Sandy Judy, parade co-chair along with Sue Taylor. Parade inquiries can be directed to Judy at (740) 765-4534 or Taylor at (740) 765-5046.
The parade will be led by the Richmond American Legion Post 740 Honored Seven honor guard led by Commander Dan Vojvodich. Any veterans interested in marching are encouraged to do so. Transportation arrangements will made for those unable to walk the parade route.
Parade grand marshals are longtime Richmond residents Donna Blake and Jess Long, both members of Richmond United Methodist Church and the legion auxiliary.
Blake served as the village's clerk-treasurer for 27 years under five different mayors before her retirement. Blake's husband, the late Bob Blake, traditionally marched with the honor guard. Blake has five children, 16 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Long, "known for her patriotism and support of the Armed Services and veterans," is the widow of Cecil Long Jr., who as a member of the Eighth Marine Division fought during Okinawa during World War II and marched in Richmond's Memorial Day parades. Her father, the late Fred M. Walker, was in the medical corps during World War I, and her grandfather, the late Intrepid Boyer, fought during the Civil War.
Long has four children and five grandchildren.
Brennan and Audrey Scott, the children of Carl and Jennie Scott of Richmond, will serve as wreath carriers with Collin Scott, son of Bob and Amy Scott of Richmond, reciting the Gettysburg Address.
The Rev. Carol Smith, pastor of Richmond United Methodist Church, will offer the invocation and benediction.
The Richmond United Methodist Church will host its annual Memorial Day breakfast in the fellowship hall from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., organized by the outreach committee. The menu includes scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, toast and beverages. Cost is by donation with proceeds split equally between the church's team participating in the Steubenville Area Relay for Life sponsored by the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society and the church's basement kitchen remodeling project.
The breakfast will feature a display of photos from past parades.
The Richmond Community Historical Society will host an open house at the Crew House Museum on Main Street from 10 a.m. to noon.
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