A day of sobering reflection

Covington to honor fallen heroes with Memorial Day parade, ceremonies
COVINGTON, Ky. – Nine hours of activity on Monday morning will honor the military dead as part of Covington’s annual Memorial Day services – but the tone will be less of celebration and more of sobering reflection.
Over the last two centuries, men and women from Covington have fought valiantly in this nation’s wars, many thousands of miles from home on uncomfortable and unfamiliar terrain.
It’s a proud heritage, to be sure. But it’s also agonizing.
When the echoes of rifle fire and explosions finally abated, our Covington sons and daughters had permanently committed to those harsh landscapes – to the sweltering jungles, acrid deserts, frozen mountains, muddy trenches, rocky cliffs, and ocean depths – their blood, their shattered bones, and their very last ragged breaths.
Come Monday, on Memorial Day, Covington will honor those heroic fallen by remembering their sacrifice.
The day kicks off at 7 a.m. with a series of Honor Guard salutes at local military memorial sites, continues with a parade, and ends with the City’s 100th Memorial Day Service at Historic Linden Grove Cemetery and Arboretum.
After COVID-19 forced last year’s parade to be canceled, participants and organizers are looking forward to this year’s remembrance, said Denny Madden, co-chair and treasurer of the United Veterans Memorial Day Committee.
“Because of last year, we can’t say ‘continuous,’ but this is the 100th gathering to honor our fallen soldiers and families,” Madden said. “It’s an important event.”
The salutes at the sites will include a prayer, a 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps,” and the placing of a wreath by the combined Honor Guard from the Latonia American Legion Post 203 and the Marshall Schildmeyer VFW Post 6095.
The starting times of the first two ceremonies are set, but the rest will get underway as soon as the participants arrive from the previous site, Madden said.
The schedule:
  • 7 a.m. – VFW Post 6095 at 347 E. 47th St.
  • 8 a.m. – American Legion Post 203 on Winston Highway.
  • Korean War Memorial at Ritte’s Corner.
  • Vietnam War Memorial at 38th & Decoursey
  • World War II Memorial at Holmes High School.
  • Mother of God Cemetery at 3125 Madison Ave.
  • Floral Hills Memorial Gardens at 5336 Old Taylor Mill Road. 
Floats, vehicles, and marchers will begin lining up at Holmes High School at 1 p.m. for the parade, he said. It will leave the campus at 2 p.m. and proceed north on Madison Avenue, west onto 19th Street, north on Holman Avenue, and west on 13th Street to the new entrance of Linden Grove Cemetery.
The parade includes City officials, police and fire units, various military contingents and vehicles, a choir and band, ball teams, and fraternal organizations. The grand marshal is U.S. Army veteran Joshua James.
It will end with a ceremony at Linden Grove, with a keynote speaker being Capt. Justin Gilliam of the Kentucky Army National Guard.
“After a year’s absence we are eager to resume the Memorial Day parade. It's a lot of fun,” said Covington Mayor Joe Meyer, who will give welcoming remarks at Linden Grove. “But we all remember the solemn purpose of the day.”
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