Memorial Day celebrated around the Ohio Valley

Belmont and Bethesda observe Memorial Day

T-L Photo/GAGE VOTA Belmont County Commissioner J.P. Dutton speaks at the Belmont Memorial Day service at the Belmont Cemetery. Pictured behind him from left are Terry Puperi, Mayor Ron Woods and Curt Turner.

BELMONT — Multiple people were bitten by a loose dog as they turned out to observe Memorial Day in Belmont.

During the annual Memorial Day parade in the village, a dog apparently escaped from its owner and attacked multiple residents in attendance. Mayor Ron Woods and Police Chief Andrew Miller both confirmed the incident occurred.

According to a post and comments on the Village of Belmont Facebook page, a 2-year-old was taken to a hospital due to a bite on their neck and an adult who was with the child received multiple staples in their hand to treat a bite wound. Another victim was 4 years old, who had bite marks and bruising on her foot but did not have to be taken to a hospital.

Miller said he had contacted Belmont County Dog Warden Lisa Duvall to handle the matter. Duvall said she could not comment on the attack or injuries, but once officials assessed the situation she said charges are pending.

Meanwhile, American Legion Post 312 hosted its annual Memorial Day service at the Belmont Cemetery. The assembly started with the Union Local High School Marching Band performing the national anthem.

Terry Puperi of Post 312 addressed the crowd by thanking them for attending. He then asked if anyone in attendance was a veteran and told them if you aren’t a veteran to make sure to thank a veteran.

“You’ve heard the saying ‘Freedom Isn’t Free?’ Look around the cemetery at all the flags, those are the guys that’ll tell you freedom isn’t free,” Puperi said.

Mayor Woods spoke second and started by saying that Memorial Day is a day to remember the U.S. military and the sacrifices the men and women of this country have made.

“This government does not use conscription. These people voluntarily choose to give up their life and sometimes die to protect the freedoms that we have today,” Woods said.

He then implored the people in attendance to hold the freedoms that are fought for near and dear in their hearts.

Woods proceeded to introduce the guest speaker, Belmont County Commissioner J.P. Dutton.

Dutton said that he felt blessed to be invited to speak at Belmont’s Memorial Day service, although he felt that he did not deserve to speak at the assembly due to the fact that he is not a veteran.

“I couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate Memorial Day than the home of the Tri-State Veterans Museum,” Dutton said, referring to the Tri-State Military Veterans Museum on Barrister Street, which shares its home with Post 312.

Another Memorial Day assembly that the Union Local High School Marching Band was present for was the Bethesda Memorial Day service and parade. The parade featured the band, cheerleaders and football team, as well as the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department, American Legion Post 90, the Bethesda Senior Center and several more. The band played the national anthem as well as “Taps” at the Bethesda service.

Commander of Bethesda American Legion Post 90 Gordon Price spoke at the assembly.

“Today we assemble here to honor and remember the fallen comrades that have served our nation,” Price said. “This is all about paying respect to those who did serve and will always serve. There were so many of them. There were lawyers, farmers, teachers, mechanics, plumbers, electricians, just a variety of trades and backgrounds.”

He noted different branches of the military like to give each other a hard time about which branch is the best, but when it’s time to battle they all fight for the same country.

Chaplain Mike Gaston placed a red flower on the Bethesda clock monument that honors the memory of all military members who served.

“As you’ll notice, we chose a red colored flower to represent the blood shed from the many battles of the nation. The flower may wilt and wither away, but the spirit will live on forever,”

Price said.


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