A Memorial Day to Remember - 2013 Ridges Ceremony
2000, the Ridges Cemeteries Committee has been working to refurbish
and beautify the cemeteries and, in so doing, restore dignity to the
deceased and fight stigma against their living counterparts. Since 2005,
the Committee has made sure that Memorial Day is celebrated there, too.
ceremony - which took place in a tent under the pines in Cemetery Two -
was very moving. There was a general invocation by NAMI Ohio
President, former State Senator Bob Spada. Then there was a
eulogy and wreath laying by NAMI Ohio
CEO Terry Russell for Civil War Veteran Casper Lewis. Finally, there was a
eulogy and wreath laying by NAMI Ohio activists Marsha and Dan Knapp
for Helen Louise Schob Tilton. Six members of Louise's family
- two sisters, a brother-in-law, a niece, nephew-in-law, and a
grandniece - participated in the wreath
laying. It was loving closure for the family and a moving underscoring
of the humanity of Louise and all those buried in these Cemeteries.
and solemnity of the ceremony were underscored by
other groups and individuals. VFW Post 7174 of The Plains acted as
color guard and did the 21-gun salute. Sharell Arocho, a singer with a
powerful Aretha Franklin-like voice, sang the Battle Hymn of the
Republic and America the Beautiful during the wreath laying. And
Vietnam War Vet Caroline Cade did Taps.
part, our Memorial Day ceremonies are stigma-busters in behalf of
persons with mental illness and are deliberately designed to attract
media attention. In that respect, this year's event was a success in
that it was the subject
an article with photo in the Athens News.
As she normally is, State
representative Debby Phillips was in attendance. Mayor Paul Wiehl
was unable to attend, but acting Mayor Jim Sands was at the ceremony.
Appalachian Behavioral Health
Care, 100 Hospital Drive, Athens OH 45701
Phone: 740-593-7424 e-mail: