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Saluting the fallen: Communities and organizations pay tribute with patriotic ceremonies, parades and events over this Memorial Day weekend and beyond

(May 24, 2013) Memorial Day activities are scheduled to take place over the next few days in Ocean City, Ocean Pines and Berlin. Among them are patriotic ceremonies, a parade and an arts and crafts show.

Ocean City:

—The 13th annual Spring Arts and Crafts show at the Ocean City convention center on 40th Street will have approximately 55 vendors selling gifts and handmade items.

Among the merchandise for sale at the free show will be jewelry, candles, wall hangings, soaps, clothing, handbags, country woodcrafts, wrought iron items, hand-painted glassware, ceramics and paintings.

“There’s a variety of merchandise for everyone to choose from,” said Janice Cropper, the show’s organizer.

In the convention center lobby area, fresh flowers will be available for purchase. Children may have their faces painted on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.

Town Cats and Cat Connection will have cat and kitten adoptions and educational material. Members of the Marine Corps League First State Detachment will also be on hand.

Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information, call 800-OC-OCEAN.

—VFW Post 8296, on 66th Street in Ocean City, and the American Legion Post 166 on 24th Street will have a combined Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 30. Nate Pearson, past commander of Post 166 and adjutant of Post 8296 is the chairman of this year’s program. The service will be held inside the VFW. Lunch will follow. For more information, call 410-524-8196 or 410-289-3166.

—OC Beach Lights Spectacular will kick off Saturday, May 25, with a patriotic show. The Beach Lights Spectacular will take place every Sunday this summer, from May 26 through Sept. 1. It will feature lasers, lights, video and special effects displayed on a giant five-story inflatable beach ball, all choreographed to music on the beach at North Division Street in downtown Ocean City. The three shows — 9:30 p.m., 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. — are free and each runs approximately eight minutes.


Ocean Pines:

—A Memorial Day ceremony at the Worcester County Veterans Memorial on Route 589 near the South Gate will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday.

The keynote speaker will be Michael Beatty, whom many residents and visitors know as “DJ Batman” (USAF, 1967-1971).

Beatty said it is humbling to have been chosen as the keynote speaker for Monday’s ceremony.

“I’m incredibly honored and incredibly proud to have been asked to do this,” he said. “It’s pretty amazing.”

Stationed in Southeast Asia with the 6217th Combat Support Group, Beatty was a disc jockey for the US Air Force at Ching Chuan Kang Royal Chinese Air Base, Taichung, Taiwan, during the Vietnam era. There, he played music during parties for the Chinese and Americans at the local college. He was host of the “Billboard Magazine Top Ten Countdown” radio program on the American Forces Network Taiwan (AFNT), as well.

Beatty also volunteered as the NCO liaison for “Operation Drug Amnesty” in Taiwan, a program that assisted military personnel who battled with drugs during the war. The program made treatment available and assured the participant no less than a general or medical discharge. Beatty was the liaison between the airmen and the medical staff at the base hospital.

Beatty’s speech is titled, “Time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”

The Baltimore native grew up behind Memorial Stadium and he will touch upon time spent there and in the area, as well as his time at Langley Air Force base in Virginia. He also plans to introduce some veterans who will be on hand that have been important in his life.

Randy Lee Ashcraft, Dick Jacobs and the Delmarva Chorus will provide musical entertainment. The Ocean City Pipes and Drums unit will also perform.

Some seating will be provided. The public is invited and encouraged to take chairs, as a couple thousand people attend the ceremony annually, according to Marie Gilmore, organizer of the event.

“It’s usually always well attended,” Gilmore said.

On-site parking will be available. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held at the Community Church at Ocean Pines.

For more information, call 410-208-6612.



—Boggs-Disharoon Post 123 in Berlin will have a Memorial service at 9 a.m. on Monday at the organization’s headquarters at 10111 Old Ocean City Road. The public is invited to attend. For more information, call 410-641-3760.

—The annual Old-Fashioned Memorial Day Celebration will begin with a parade on Monday at 11 a.m. The procession, which will include approximately 40 entries, according to co-organizer Jesse Turner, owner of the Berlin Shoe Box, will start from Stephen Decatur Middle School and end at Henry Park on Flower Street.

The Stephen Decatur High School band, dance groups, floats and motorcycle units are set to participate, among others. Trophies will be presented to parade winners.

Following the parade will be a variety of activities, crafts and games throughout the day at the Berlin Multi-purpose Community Building. Food vendors will also be on hand. For more information, call Turner at 410-641-1270.

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