Dennis Schone laying the memorial wreath.


NE Post 630 and City of Blue Ash adapt and overcome to honor veterans

Northeast Post 630 - Blue Ash, OH

In true military fashion, the City of Blue Ash faced a problem and, with little time to spare, solved it. It was the day before the largest Veterans Day event in the Tri-State, and the city had made ready for an outdoor event at the Towne Square Memorial. However, the beautiful weather that had been experienced all week began to become ugly. The Blue Ash Administration took heed of the weather reports and decided to stage the Veterans Day ceremony inside the gymnasiums at the Recreation Center - a very wise move. In less than a day, the gyms were set up - the blue gym for the ceremony and the red gym for the luncheon that followed. Groups that were to participate in the ceremony arrived early and a coordinated plan involving all of them was formalized. As the time for the ceremony to begin arrived, everyone took their places in the jam-packed gymnasium. The ceremony began with the national anthem, followed by a bagpiper leading the Northeast Post color guard down the main aisle. As the members reached the front of the large, assembled crowd, the flag team turned left, and the fire team went right, to their assigned places. Emcee Rick Bryan then led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. At its conclusion, nine students from the Sycamore School District’s E. H. Greene Middle School read very inspiring and insightful veteran-themed poems they had written. After the reading of the poems, the most solemn moment of the morning occurred - the laying of the memorial wreath. The color guard was called to attention; the fire team exited just outside a side door of the gym into the rain. A NE Post 630 member, 101-year-old Dennis Schone, picked up the wreath and carried it to the front of the gym where two sections of a white picket fence formed a V. He laid the wreath on the V of the fence, stepped back and saluted. At that moment the fire team gave a three-round volley followed by Dennis Ortlieb of NE Post 630 sounding taps. The E.H. Greene students then laid wreaths to the right and left of the memorial wreath. These wreaths represented the individual wars the United States has fought in. The ceremony continued with Bryan introducing the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Vietnam veteran James Meyers, captain, USMC. Meyers gave a very personal and uplifting speech. After Meyers’ speech, Bryan acknowledged the three Blue Ash residents who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The retiring of the colors ended the event.

Jim Meyers giving the keynote speech
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