Navy Night kicks off parade events

·2 min read

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The sky may have been dark, but Thursday night's rain did not begin falling until just after the conclusion of the annual Navy Night ceremony on the Ironton riverfront.

The annual event, which pays tribute to those lost at sea in service to the nation, had a large turnout and saw the continuity of many traditions associated with the ceremony, which kicks off Memorial Day observances in Ironton.

As has been the case in recent years, Charles Cooper, retired Lawrence County Common Pleas judge served as master of ceremonies, while the event opened with the Honor Guard of the Symmes

Valley Veterans and the presentation of colors from Ironton VFW Post 8850.

This year's invocation was delivered by Brother John Kellogg, followed by the playing of the national anthem by the Rock Hill Brass Band and a flag folding ceremony from Scout Troop 106, of Ironton, who also carried the memorial wreath to be laid on the river at the ceremony's end.

"As this wreath floats by, people will see and remember what the flags of freedom cost," Kellogg said.

Mayor Sam Cramblit II read a proclamation, proclaiming Navy Night in the City of Ironton, while the master of ceremonies, followed by the event's keynote speaker, LCDR Kirk Morris, to Navy Operation Support Center Eleanor's commanding officer.

Morris praised the city for the parade, now in its 154th year and longest-running Memorial Day event of its kind.

"This is an extraordinary achievement," he said.

Morris said the city had a "rich history" of ties to the U.S. Navy.

"More than 100 years ago, this city's iron was used in the Navy's first ironclad ships," he said. "The development of ironclad ships permanently transitioned from wooden vessels to ships of steel. Today's ships have roots in this city and be proud of your contribution to the U.S. Navy."

Memorial Day weekend events continue tonight, with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m., launched from the riverfront and viewable from downtown, followed by the Woodland Cemetery memorial service, set for 2 p.m. Sunday in the cemetery's Soldiers Plot.

The Ironton Lawrence County Memorial Day parade steps off at 10 a.m. on Monday. For full details of the event, see our parade guide, included in this edition of The Ironton Tribune.