Wreaths Across America Observed At Clarion And Immaculate Conception Cemeteries, Volunteers Lay Over 1,000 Wreaths On Veterans Graves After Stirring Programs (12/16/19)
(Above photo) Some of the many volunteers laying wreaths
Clarion County came together in a big way, on Saturday, December 14th, at the Clarion and Immaculate Conception Cemeteries, to honor the veterans laid to rest there, with Wreaths Across America.
Approximately two-hundred volunteers, from Clarion and surrounding communities, placed 1,040 wreaths on veterans graves, following a stirring ceremony, as a tribute to those brave members of the armed forces.
This year’s tribute, Clarion’s first, was organized by Noreen Shirey and was a community service project for the Clarion Area Football Team and the students at the Immaculate Conception School.
Mrs. Shirey opened the Ceremony welcoming those in attendance and mentioning that groups all across the country were gathered to lay wreaths, in commemoration of Wreaths Across America Day.
Reverend Deryl Larsen gave the invocation. Boy Scout Troop 51 posted the colors and Cub Scouts led in the “Pledge of Allegiance.”
Erin Lewis led the National Anthem and with her daughter Lacie, led in “America the Beautiful.”
Speakers included Clarion Mayor Bill Miller, Clarion County Commissioner Wayne Brosius, Bobbie Lawrence of the Clarion VFW, and Richard Weaver, father of Rick Weaver who gave his life on the USS Stark. All the tributes were very stirring.
In attendance was Romaine McGinnis, mother of Medal of Honor recipient Ross A. McGinnis, who gave his life in Iraq. God Bless you to the Weaver and McGinnis families and other families whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice to for our country.
The riderless horse with empty boots in the stirrups was led by U.S. Army Veteran Josiah Fink. passed along Second Avenue as Taps were played. The horse was provided by Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. from Knox.
The Rimersburg American Legion and VFW Honors Detail gave a 21-gun salute.
Ceremonial Wreath Laying on behalf of all the branches of the service and POW’s and MIA’s were provided by:
William “Bill” Fiscus – U.S. Navy; Nicholas Schill – U.S. Army; Frank Rossman – U.S. Marines; Jessica Wilson Cyphert – U.S. Air Force; Danielle Avery Bunch – U.S. Coast Guard; Joe Hinderliter – U.S. Merchant Marines; Brandon Buzard – U.S. POW,s and MIA’s.
Mrs Shirey shared some closing thoughts and the Boy Scouts retired the Colors. Father Monte Sayres of Immaculate Parish and School gave the Benediction.
After the ceremony, those gathered spread out throughout the cemeteries and placed the wreaths.
What a wonderful tribute for departed veterans.
Thank you to all involved. Next year’s Wreaths Across America date is December 19th. Anyone interested in being a coordinator for their own cemetery is encouraged to attend a meeting on Friday, December 27th at 7:30PM, at the Limestone Fire Hall.Wreath pick up/disposal date is January 20th at noon. If you can be their to help it would be appreciated.
(More photos below)