Veterans celebrated during service

WEST MILTON — On Sunday, Nov. 8, Hoffman United Methodist Church in West Milton hosted a military banner retirement program.

The Hometown Heroes banners are displayed on utility poles on State Route 48. There are currently 156 banners displayed, which will shortly be taken down for the winter. They are retired after five years and sponsors have the opportunity to purchase a new one. Forty-three retired banners were on display in the activity center.

Following the invocation by Pastor Robbie Scott the “Star Spangled Banner “was sung by Arielle Haynes. The rest of the program was carried out by veterans from various branches of the armed services.

Dennis Albaugh and Rec Carpenter offered speeches to attendees. Dan Studebaker recited an updated version of the Gettysburg Address. A Power Point program, developed by Norman Hiester, displayed pictures and names of Union Township veterans past and present. Chris Long read the names from the banners being retired. Dennis Albaugh and Jim Wright folded the flag and Dr. Cliff Poling read what each part of the flag represents and what the 13 folds stand for on the flag. The program closed with the playing of “Taps” by Jim Wright and prayer by Tim Studebaker.

The main speaker was D. Ralph Young. He is a 95-year-old veteran of World War II. His speech and slide presentation included his involvement in the invasion of several beaches in the Pacific. Information about his book, “Forgotten Warriors: The Amphibious March Across the Pacific,” can be found online.

West Milton Fire Chief David Jay arranged for the fire department to display their large American flag from the top of their ladder truck during the event.

Seating was limited due to social distancing and masks were required.

The program can be viewed on West Milton’s public access station (Channel 5), on YouTube under wmpatv as well as on Hoffman’s Facebook page.