PIQUA —The Piqua Veterans’ Association invites the public to join the memorial services set for Memorial Day, Monday, May 29.
The parade will begin in the area of the Piqua Central Intermediate School on Park Avenue at 9 a.m. and proceed to the Piqua Veterans’ Memorial near Forest Hill Cemetery. The parade route will go west on Park to Washington Avenues then north to the memorial site; spectators can view the procession anywhere along the route.
The parade grand marshal for 2023 is long time Piqua area resident, U.S. Army veteran, and founding member of the Piqua Civic Band Paul Holfinger.
Local veterans who would like to be in the parade are invited to ride in the historic military vehicle convoy. This group meets at Hartzell Propeller on Covington Avenue at 8 a.m.
The Memorial Day service immediately follows the parade at the Veterans’ Memorial beginning at approximately 10 a.m. There will be brief ceremonies recognizing our fallen soldiers, sailors, and airmen as well as prisoners of war and those missing in action.
The speaker this year is U.S. Army First Sgt. (Ret.) Scott B. Ehman, a member of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command who assisted with recovery missions across southeast Asia. The Piqua High School marching band will perform The Star-Spangled Banner as well as other musical selections.
While our living veterans are recognized for their service every year on Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, Memorial Day is the day set aside for remembrance of those who gave their lives in the pursuit of securing Liberty in the U.S. Armed Forces at home and abroad. Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is observed on the last Monday in May and has been kept as an annual tradition since shortly after the U.S. Civil War. In observance of Memorial Day, the United States flag is traditionally flown at half-staff from sunrise until noon, when it is raised back to the top of the staff. The Piqua Veterans’ Association asks for the support of local residents in carrying on the memory of our fallen heroes.
• Keynote Speaker Ehman grew up in Atlanta, Indiana, a small town north of Indianapolis. After graduating from Hamilton Heights High School, he joined the U.S. Army on Nov. 19, 1982, and retired on Dec. 1, 2003, as an Army 1st Sergeant.
He was assigned to the following commands during his enlistment: 259th EOD Fort Irwin, CA; 50th Granite City, IL; 64th EOD Fort Benjamin Harrison, IN; 8th EOD Uijeongbu South Korea; Hazardous Devices School – Training & Evaluation Redstone Arsenal, AL; 6th EOD Schofield Barracks, HI; 71st/731st EOD Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. While stationed at Schofield Barracks, HI, 1SG Ehman would be selected to assist the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. He took part in POW/MIA recovery missions in North and South Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
Ehman settled in the Dayton area with his wife, Rene, after retiring from the US Army.
• Parade Grand Marshall Holfinger served in the U.S. Army during World War II. While in Japan he had the pleasure of musically entertaining the troop. After returning to Piqua he was one of the founding members of the Piqua Civic Band in 1947 and accompanied the band until 2020. Holfinger was also a founding member of the Piqua High School Alumni Band in 1972 and performed with them until 2015.