Marshal Sherman Ricketts, who gave his life to protect the residents of West Liberty in the early morning on June 29, 1962, will be honored by the village Wednesday, June 29, with multiple events planned for that day.
Marshal Ricketts was investigating a break-in in the northwestern part of the village around Baird, Reynolds and Columbus Streets. He confronted the suspect, who fired numerous rounds at point blank range and the marshal was fatally wounded. Ricketts, while suffering those fatal injuries, shot the suspect twice to prevent him from fleeing.
At 3:30 a.m. Wednesday, there will be a vigil in front of the West Liberty Presbyterian Church at the spot where the Marshal gave his life in the line of duty.
Activities Wednesday afternoon will take place at the newly established Sherman Ricketts Memorial Park, which was dedicated in May of 2021.
A ceremony begins with a procession of law enforcement starting at the West Liberty Police Department at 2 p.m. and continuing west on Runkle Street to the Sherman Ricketts Memorial Park.
The program at the park starts at 2:50 p.m. with the West Liberty United Church of Christ Reverend Debby Stinton offering the invocation.
The Logan County Honor Guard will have a presentation of the flag to the grandchildren of Marshal Ricketts, a rifle squad will present a 21-gun salute and playing of Taps.
The guest speakers for the event will share stories of the marshal and West Liberty Presbyterian Pastor Keith Landis will close with the benediction. The public is invited to attend and encouraged to take a lawn chair.
The park’s new amenities (shelter house, water bottle filling station, and bicycle fix-it station) will be dedicated during the ceremony as well.
The Sherman Ricketts Memorial Park and Trailhead is located on west State Route 245.
Law enforcement parking will be provided on Bradley Street. Public parking will be across S.R. 245 at King Feed or at the village garage across Sidney Street in the grassy areas.
Sidney Street will be closed from the Recycling Center to S.R. 245 in order to set up all the activities planned for that day.
The “Put A Lid On It” Campaign, a program to encourage children to wear helmets while riding bikes, follows the ceremony from 4 to 7 p.m. June 29.
The Mary Rutan Foundation will fit children for bicycle helmets until the helmets are all gone. A total of 104 helmets will be given away, donated by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ohio Department of Transportation, Honda and the Mary Rutan Foundation.
Helmets are for any children who come to the event.
Children are encouraged to ride the Simon Kenton Bike Trail with West Liberty bicycle police to learn about bike riding safety.