John Hinkle Jr. welcomed volunteers and the Catholic War Vet Color Guard presented the American flag.
Sergeant 1st Class Karen Zercher (Army),1st Class Petty Officer Owen Brunner (Navy), Corporal Jeffrey Detz (Marine), Staff Sergeant Nicholas McCarty (Air Force), 3rd Class Petty Officer, Thomas J. McCarty (Coast Guard), and 2nd Engineer George Biagio (Merchant Marine) presented decorated wreaths for their branch of service. Sergeant Albert C. Storm Jr. (Army) presented a decorated wreath for POW/MIA veterans.
A resolution was made to honor of Chief Warrant Officer 4 Edmund J. Wickenheiser Jr.
Ending the ceremony a gun volley by Vet 21 and taps played by Frost Umble.
As rain continued to fall, families stayed to lay wreaths at the veterans’ graves. Over 600 veterans are laid to rest at Mount Bethel Cemetery and every single one of them received a wreath. People throughout the community made monetary contributions to make sure every veteran grave was decorated.
Friends of Mount Bethel Cemetery organized it, but it’s about all the people who volunteer and sponsor wreaths, to make it happen in Columbia.
Everyone who placed a wreath said the veteran’s name out loud so they are never forgotten.
Wreaths now lay inside Mount Bethel Cemetery.
[Photos and text submitted by Jane Moore]