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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.

Some of the approximately two hundred folks gathered for Wreaths Across America on Saturday

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.

Clarion Bobcat football team members and coaches

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.

Clarion Wreaths Across America co-ordinator Noreen Shirey

Reverend Deryl Larsen gave the invocation. Boy Scout Troop 51 posted the colors and Cub Scouts led in the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

Boy Scout Troop 51 presenting the colors
Cub Scouts leading the Pledge of Allegiance

Erin Lewis led the National Anthem and with her daughter Lacie, led in “America the Beautiful.”

Erin Lewis and and daughter Lacie Lewis led “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.

Richard Weaver whose son gave his life on the USS Stark

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.

In attendance was Romaine McGinnis mother of Medal of Honor recipient Ross McGinnis, who gave his life in Iraq

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.

Riderless horse with empty boots in the stirrups

The Rimersburg American Legion and VFW Honors Detail gave a 21-gun salute.

Twenty-one gun salute by Rimersburg American Legion and VFW

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.

Brandon Buzard laying Ceremonial Wreath for U.S. POW’s and MIA’s

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Army Personel Brandon Buzard and Nicolas Schill

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.

Clarion Borough Mayor Bill Miller

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)

Some of the many volunteers laying wreaths
Reverend Deryl Larsen gave the invocation
Several graves with wreaths
Father Monte Sayres
Wreaths Across America ceremony H – banner and wreaths
Clarion County Commissioner Wayne Brosius
Bobbie Lawrence
Clarion Fire & Hose Company No 1 representatives (The Clarion and Limestone Companies were very instrumental in this ceremony – see earlier article)