One of the first Memorial Day observances in the county takes place this afternoon with two observances, first at the Chester County Courthouse and then at Marshall Square Park in West Chester

The first part of the services will be held at 1 p.m. with wreath-laying ceremonies at the Hall of Heroes on the first floor of the Chester County Courthouse on High Street, West Chester.

The Hall of Heroes is a display honoring Chester County residents who gave their lives in 20th-century wars from World War I to Vietnam.

Immediately after the Courthouse ceremony, the public is invited to attend a program at the Civil War Memorial in Marshall Square Park at Marshall and Franklin Streets in West Chester.

The ceremony in the park, which is expected to begin around 2 p.m., will include a color guard ceremony at the war memorial.

The two events are sponsored by the West Chester Veterans Council, which is made up of various veterans groups. Paul Andriole, county director of veterans affairs, says they will take place rain or shine.

- Bill Raftery