WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Warren community paid tribute to our fallen veterans Monday. Marine Veteran and Retired Warren Police Officer Christopher O’Rourke was honored to cast a wreath into the Mahoning River, which started off the ceremony Monday morning.
“We’re here to honor them,” O’Rourke said. “It’s very emotional. Today’s not a day for celebration, it’s a day for remembering our fallen veterans, the ones that are not able to be here today.”
The services continued at the amphitheater where the community gathered to remember the service members who died in service to our country.
“We want to keep their memories alive as veterans that served,” said Roy Yancey, an army veteran.
“All of us know someone, have somebody, went to school with someone, so this is just a day of remembrance, but for me, it’s more of a day of thanksgiving because I’m blessed and thankful that I can be here to celebrate, so it means that much to me and my family,” said Robert Faulkner, another army veteran.
It’s services like this one that honor the true meaning of Memorial Day.
“This reminds me of the fact that all the people are free because of people like the veterans, so it’s a celebration, but it’s also a moment of sadness,” Yancey said.
Also remembered Sunday were 61 Trumbull County service men who never came home from the Vietnam War.
Their pictures lined the sidewalk near the Kinsman House in Warren. The posters detailing each veteran’s name, hometown, branch of service, plus date and location of their death were created in 2018.
They’ve been put on display each year since then from morning until dusk every Memorial and Veterans Day.
People also gathered on both sides of Mahoning Avenue in Warren to watch the Memorial Day Parade.
Warren police officers and firefighters led the procession, which included a number of veterans, the TCTC honor guard and several different veterans organizations.
Folks who were there to watch say they were happy to see events honoring fallen veterans happening in-person once again, since many were canceled or held virtually last year due to the pandemic.
“It was actually cool. Me and my sister had tons of fun,” said Kal Biles, who watched the parade.
“It’s still great to see at least people are starting to come back out, you know, they’re trying to get somewhat back to normal,” said Cynthia Stayer, who also watched the parade.
The parade concluded at Oakwood Cemetery, where there was a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown.
“You know, whatever the COVID and everything, you know, nobody’s been able to really enjoy the holidays and stuff,” said Jermaine Poole, who watched the parade Monday. “So, it feels good to get out and see people out and just be out in the sun today and enjoy the parade.”