Sunday, December 19, 2021

3 Columbia cemeteries held Wreaths Across America ceremonies this weekend

Three cemeteries in Columbia held Wreaths Across America ceremonies this weekend.

Mount Bethel Cemetery, 700 Locust St., hosted a Wreaths Across America event at noon on Saturday to honor veterans, living and deceased, from all branches of the military.

Community members participated by laying wreaths on graves of the more than 600 veterans buried at Mount Bethel Cemetery.

Retired Army Sgt. Major Spike Gaylord Grant emceed the program. Several retired veterans laid wreaths, as well: Harold Thomas, Coast Guard; Sandra Duncan, Air Force; LuAnn Grant, Army; Harry Knighton, Navy; Jason Price II, Marines; George Biagio, Merchant Marines; and Albert Storm, representing POW/MIA.

Vet21 provided the 21-gun salute. A color guard also participated.


Zion Hill Cemetery's ceremony was held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, December 19, at 553 N. 5th St..

Zion Hill is a restored historic cemetery dedicated to 18 African American residents of Columbia who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. The ceremony featured a color guard from the Lancaster Fencibles; speakers Mark Stivers, Columbia's borough manager, and Sharon Lintner, vice president of Columbia Borough Council; and two members of the Columbia Historic Preservation Society, historian Christopher Vera and Tony Williams, reading the names of the interred. William Kloidt gave the invocation.


A Wreaths Across America ceremony was held at Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens, 845 Laurel Hill Road, at 2 p.m. Sunday. Participants laid wreaths in remembrance of veterans buried there. A color guard consisting of veterans also participated in the ceremony.

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