Friday, December 17, 2021


Three cemeteries in Columbia will have Wreaths Across America ceremonies this weekend.

Mount Bethel Cemetery, 700 Locust St., Columbia, will host a Wreaths Across America event at noon Saturday, Dec. 18, to honor veterans, living and deceased, from all branches of the military.

Community members are invited to participate by laying wreaths on graves of veterans throughout the ceremony. There are more than 600 veterans buried at Mount Bethel Cemetery.

Retired Army Sgt. Major Spike Gaylord Grant will emcee the program. Several retired veterans will lay 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.

Jerry Breneisen will play taps, and Vet21 will provide the 21-gun salute. There will also be a color guard.

To support Mount Bethel Cemetery, visit

Zion Hill Cemetery's ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19, at the cemetery, 553 N. 5th St., Columbia.

Zion Hill is a restored historic cemetery that is dedicated to the 18 African American residents of Columbia who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. The ceremony will feature a color guard from the Lancaster Fencibles; a 21-gun salute by the 30th Pennsylvania Volunteers; speakers Mark Stivers, Columbia borough manager, and Sharon Lintner, 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.

The Wreaths Across America ceremony at Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens, 845 Laurel Hill Road, Columbia, will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, December 19.

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