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Sons of American Revolution honor fallen

Sons of American Revolution honor fallen

Photo by Janelle Patterson Members of the Sons of the American Revolution, Ohio Society Marietta Chapter Jean Yost, left, and Larry Butcher, honor the first patriots of the Northwest Territory during a small ceremony in Marietta Thursday.

The Sons of the American Revolution hosted a remembrance ceremony Thursday despite coronavirus, rain and wind.

“We debated how to still honor those first patriots of this area and the sacrifices they made that not only allowed for freedoms we now take for granted, but also forced that path for what later was written into the U.S. Constitution,” said Tony Durm, Marietta chapter president. “Yes this virus is here, but if we look into our history, these folks dealt with pandemics, too.”

Past president and local historian Jean Yost reached out for a rain location facing the Start Westward Monument in East Muskingum Park, the new spot: the Jonathan Meigs Jr. house on Front Street, owned by real estate broker Karen Strahler.

“We felt it was still important to hold this, as we always do on the Thursday before Memorial Day,” said Yost. “Yes attendance can be limited, but the significance of history may not.”

Strahler said she was happy to offer outdoor refuge on her side porch and even put Yost to work carrying flowers before the event.

“Jean’s resourceful like that,” Strahler said with a laugh.

During and after the event, Yost and Durm talked of one protection written into the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, the preservation of religious freedom.

“And most people don’t realize that Marietta is only one of two places in the nation that has specifically designated ministerial lands because of that document, before the separation of church and state was written into the U.S. constitution,” Durm said.

The chapter’s color guard, Larry Butcher, 77, of St. Marys and Bob Hadfield, 62, of Belpre were also proud to be a part of the small affair, paying homage to their ancestors who fought for the early freedoms of the fledgling nation.

“It is fun to search your genealogy and find out about your family and what they went through, it puts things going on now into context,” said Hadfield. “My ancestor was a captain in Philadelphia and his son was a drummer boy under him.”

The group said they hope that despite required cancellation of the Monday parades, individuals will still remember the meaning of Memorial Day on Monday, to honor those who have fallen in the service of this nation.

Janelle Patterson may be reached at jpatterson@mariettatimes.com.

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