January 28, 2017 –
William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, was celebrated on what would have been his 174th birthday during a wreath-laying ceremony at his Canton, Ohio, Presidential Library and Museum, January 28.
McKinley was elected to two terms as president. However, his second term was cut short when he was assassinated six months into his second term. Additionally, he served in the Civil War, was an elected member of Congress, governor of Ohio in addition to having a prolific law career as well.
The ceremony began with an opening prayer by Chaplain (Maj.) Scott Hagen, the deputy command chaplain for the Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, based 88th Regional Support Command of the United States Army Reserve.
“Your spirit equips men and women everywhere with a rich variety of gifts,” Hagen said. “We are grateful for the way in which these gifts were employed in the life of President McKinley.”
Following that, seven separate wreaths were placed at the foot of the McKinley bust by various organizations that represented each era and type of service of McKinley.
Wreath were placed by: Civil War re-enactors, Masons of McKinley Lodge 431, members of the Department of Ohio Army & Navy Union, the mayor of Canton, Ohio, a state senator and a state representative on behalf of Ohio, a wreath was placed in honor of the U.S. Congress and finally a wreath was placed on behalf of the President of the United States.
That final wreath was place by Brig. Gen. Stephen E. Strand, the deputy commanding general for the 88th RSC, and Hagen.
After placing that final wreath, a three-volley salute was fired by members of 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry Civil War reenactors and a canon salute followed that.
Sergeant Dana Veneskey from the 338th Army Band out of Whitehall, Ohio, performed taps from the steps leading to the McKinley memorial where the 25th president, his wife Ida and his two children Katherine and Ida are interred, to conclude the ceremony.