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Chester County Press

Oxford remembers and honors on Memorial Day

05/30/2023 03:04PM ● By Steven Hoffman
Under glorious skies, the Oxford community remembered and honored those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  For a second year in a row, the Oxford community held a Remembrance Walk and Ceremony on Memorial Day as community members joined the Oxford school bands in Oxford Memorial Park before walking up Pine Street to the rear entrance of the Oxford Cemetery to the American Legion’s Oxford Memorial Day Ceremony. 
Vietnam veteran John Coverly, father of Oxford Police Department sergeant Chris Coverly, led the Remembrance Walk.  State Rep. John Lawrence followed in his vintage convertible with a place of honor for veterans. Ware Presbyterian Village provided a bus to its residents so they could ride to the Oxford Cemetery for the ceremony.
Members of the Oxford Area High School Marching Band and the Penns Grove Band joined together to walk silently except for the military-style drum cadence.  Falling in behind the band, hundreds from the community walked together.  
Dr. Erin Kauppila, the director of instrumental music at Oxford Area School District, said, “The OASD Bands are honored to be a part of Oxford Memorial Day events every year.  The students are very aware of the importance of the day and that their role is to help an entire community come together to memorialize those that made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Oxford Mayor Phil Harris, who along with Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce president Dennis McCartney carried a “Walk with Us”  banner shared, “On behalf of the Oxford Community, I would like to thank the Oxford American Legion and its members for the decades of commitment and continuation of the Memorial Day Remembrance program. This time-honored tradition calls attention to the true purpose of this sacred day. Each year we humbly assemble here on this hallowed ground. With honor, gratitude, and respect, we remember the fallen, we hope to lift the gold star families and support those that live with the very real cost of conflict each day. As we march on our silent procession from Memorial Park to the gates of these grounds, each step provides an opportunity to reflect on the selfless acts of these heroes, and to renew our commitment as a community, that we will never forget….” 
American Legion Roy W. Gibson Post #535 held the Memorial Day ceremony under the direction of Commander Bob Stewart. Elizabeth Ralston Evans, a senior at Oxford Area High School, read General Logan’s orders and Jacob Horton followed with his reading of the Gettysburg Address.  Trumpeters from the schools played “Taps.”  In addition, local bagpiper Kyle Grasty  played “Amazing Grace.”  Guest speaker, Kevin Fry of the Chester County Veterans Affairs spoke of the enduring pain and trauma some service members deal with when they return home.  
McCartney added, “This year’s Memorial Day Remembrance Walk and Ceremony solidified Oxford’s new tradition.  Honoring the fallen service men and women in this way has already become a solemn, respectful and meaningful way to dedicate this day for the true reason it was established.”