Memorial Day services in Grove City will be held May 27 at Crestview Memorial Park to honor fallen veterans who have given their lives in service to the country.

The Memorial Day service will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the Veterans Memorial Garden at the park, according to Kevin Fox, president of the Veteran’s Council.

The council, made up of six local veterans, has been hosting the program for “decades,” according to Fox, who has been president of the council for the past three years.

Slippery Rock University history professor Thomas Pearcy will be the featured speaker at this year’s program and said he was “very excited” to be a part of the service.

“I’m very happy and honored to do this,” Pearcy said.

Pearcy said he usually takes his family to the memorial service in Slippery Rock, although he would be taking them to the Grove City program this year.

“We go as a family to honor the veterans,” said Pearcy, who has taught at SRU for nine years.

While Pearcy said he was still working on his speech, he said it would emphasize the cost of freedom in America and honor the soldiers who have given the ultimate price for their country.

According to Fox, other participants in the Memorial Day service include the Harrisville Community Band and the Moniteau Ceremonial Rifle Squad.

“Along with memorable patriotic music by the Harrisville band and the address by the featured speaker, the commanders and vice commanders from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion place flags on 100 graves in the Veterans Memorial Garden and place wreaths dedicated to all veterans who have passed away,” Fox, a retired Marine Corps captain, said.

Following the placement of the flags will be the singing of the National Anthem, a rifle salute and Taps, Fox added.

Following the Memorial Day service at Crestview Memorial Park, participants and attendees are invited to the Claire Van Eman VFW Post 519 on Blair Street for food and refreshments, according to Fox.

While Fox said there is normally a second wreath-laying service at the Grove City Community Honor Roll in Memorial Park, he said the ceremony will be postponed until later this summer due to construction.

According to Fox, the Veterans Council is expanding the honor roll monument, which currently lists the names of 2,500 Grove City veterans, in order to include an extra 1,500 names.

“The council raised almost $20,000 in order to expand the honor roll,” Fox added. “We’ve been fundraising since late August and construction began April 20.”

Fox said construction efforts have been delayed due to weather.

According to Fox, the Veterans Council is aiming for a July 4 re-dedication ceremony at the Honor Roll.

And while the second wreath-laying ceremony has been postponed, Fox said he still anticipates a good turnout from the Grove City community.

“Every year, 300 to 400 people attend (the memorial service),” he said. “Being a veteran, it’s nice to see patriotic citizens honoring fallen veterans.”

Fox also said attendees usually get swept up in the ceremony.

“People who attend get pretty emotional,” Fox said. Memorial Day activities for the Veteran’s Council, as well as members of the VFW and American Legion, will actually begin on May 26, the day before the ceremony, according to Fox. He said volunteers will place 1,750 flags on graves in 23 cemeteries throughout the Grove City Area that day.

“It’s a great service dedicated to all veterans who passed away,” Fox said.

The half-hour ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. May 27 in Crestview Memorial Park, at 877 N. Broad St. Ext.

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