NEWCOMERSTOWN — Newcomerstown will hold its annual Memorial Day service on May 27 at West Lawn Cemetery just outside of Newcomerstown. The event will start at 11 a.m.
"Newcomerstown Mayor Pat Cadle and local village government have planned a great event for this 2019 Memorial Day Holiday," said Councilwoman Kristie Wilkin. "Many of our residents and students will be making noteworthy contributions to the ceremony."
Jason Miller of Newcomerstown, a Newcomerstown High School graduate, will serve as the master of ceremony. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1991 to1995. He joined the American Legion in 1998, and has participated in military funerals, parades, and Blue Star Banner Programs. Jason said he enjoys being active in the community, and feels honored to be following in the late Denny Bell’s footsteps as master of ceremony this year.
Chad Elliott, another NHS graduate and former sergeant in the U.S. Army will introduce the main speaker: Detective Sgt. Phil Valdez of the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office.
Valdez is a 1996 graduate of Newcomerstown High School who served four years in the United States Marine Corps. He attended Marine Security Forces Training and was tasked to guard nuclear missiles for two years after qualifying for a secret clearance. The other two years of his service were as a Marine rifleman with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Division at Kaneohe Bay Hawaii. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in June of 2000 as a sergeant.
Valdez began working at the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office in July 2000 as a corrections officer. He was promoted to a deputy in the road patrol division in October 2006 and was assigned to the K-9 unit in August 2007.
He was then promoted to detective in April 2014, and assigned to primarily investigate drug offenses. In January 2017, he was promoted to sergeant, and tasked as the commander of the LEAD Drug Task Force.
"I am pleased and honored to be speaking at the event, and to be representing my hometown, the United States Marines, and the Tuscarawas Coounty Sheriff’s Office on Memorial Day," Valdez said.
Graduating senior Candace Offman will represent Newcomertown High School by participating in the service. She will be attending The Ohio State University in the fall, to pursue a double major in history and political science. She wants to become an educator or work in politics in the future.
Invocation and benediction will be offered by Ed Rexroad of the Light in the Valley Ministries. He is also a graduate of Newcomerstown High School.
The Newcomerstown High School Band will perform. Also joining the ceremony will be the Newcomerstown Honor Guard from the local American Legion. The color guard conduct their ceremonial duties and showcase the American flag.
"Come and bring a lawn chair, and share in remembering our fallen heroes, and enjoy the company of family and friends," Cadle said. "If you cannot attend, please take time to remember the true meaning of the holiday, and pause at 3 p.m. for the National Moment of Remembrance. Without the sacrifices of our veterans who have served and fought for our country, we would not enjoy the great country and village we are today."
Questions about the Memorial Day services may be directed to the mayor’s office at 740-498-6313.