MEIGS COUNTY, Ohio – Memorial Day in Meigs County marks the official beginning of summer. Many people today will be grilling out with family, splashing in the pool, taking part in the weekend Memorial Day Run, or simply enjoying a day off work. However, it is also a time of remembrance and reflection of those who made the supreme sacrifice.
Memorial Day originally began as Decoration Day in 1868 when Grand Army of the Republic (Union Army) Civil War Veterans would decorate the graves of the honored dead with flowers. This tradition is continued today by placing American Flags on the headstones of veterans.
If you get a chance to visit one of Meigs County’s cemeteries today, you will see fields of headstones with red, white, and blue fluttering in the light breeze. Each one of those flags represents someone who gave up part of their youth and time from their families to protect and defend the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. You can find headstones of veterans from as early the American Revolution and those for who served in nearly every one of America’s wars.
Since World War I, 166 in total from Meigs County have given their life protecting and defending the United States. The United States entered World War I in April of 1917 and it ended in June of 1919. During that time, Meigs County saw a loss of 29.
World War II, which began for the United States with the bombing of Pearl Habor in December of 1941, lasted until September of 1945. Overall 113 were lost or declared missing from Meigs County. 11 gave their lives in the mountains of Korea from June 1950 to July 1953.
In one of the most divisive times of our country and one of the most sensitive eras in American History, Meigs County lost 11 of her sons in the jungles of Vietnam. The United States involvement began in November of 1955 and ended with the last Americans leaving in April of 1975. The Iraq war saw the loss of Roger Clinton Turner, Jr. and Joshua Jones from Meigs County.