Solemn Wreaths Across America Ceremonies Take Place Around Clarion County Area

Above photo Courtesy Dave Cyphert – ProPoint Media: Many of the attendees at the Clarion and Immaculate Conception Cemetery Ceremony

Cemeteries across the Clarion County area were the scenes of the National Wreaths Across America (WAA) Ceremonies and Wreath Laying, that took place on Saturday, December 17th, with over fifty cemeteries in Clarion County where solemn Ceremonies and Wreath Placings, took place this year. The goal is that every Military Veteran’s grave will have a wreath, honoring them for their service.

Sal Mazzochi photo – Armed Forces Branches Wreath display at St. Marys Cemetery in Crown

Each December, National Wreaths Across America Day is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and at more than three-thousand other locations in all fifty States, at sea and abroad.

Clarion County WAA Coordinator Noreen Shirey, along with many Co-Coordinators and other volunteers tirelessly give of themselves to bring this Patriotic to fruition.

Megan Reed Photo: Gary Mayhon leading Triton, the riderless horse along Second Avenue

Area Co-Coordinators include Courtney Kirkwood – Tylersburg, John Blachier – Strattanville, Rodney Buzard – Limestone, Dale McKain – Salem-Frogtown, Tina Rankin – Asbury, John McCall – New Rehoboth, Cheryl Avery – Helen Furnace, Becky and Brian Manley – Dehner, Dave Bowser and Deb Chapman – Strattanville, Centennial, Fisher Methodist and Presbyterian. Joan Krieble – Old Seceder, Licking, and Churchville. Romayne McGinnis – Knox, Ann Ochs – Lucinda, Jackie Greible and Kathy Glosser – Fryburg, Ray Ishman – New Bethlehem, Ken Flick – Marienville, Kim Beham – East Brady and Tina Flick Kennedy – Rimersburg.

The Gathering at Limestone

Noreen said, “It is amazing to see how this mission has grown nationwide and especially in Clarion County!  Thanks to all of the ceremony participants, co-coordinators, volunteers, Clarion Fire and Limestone Fire. 

Photo Courtesy – Dave Cyphert – ProPoint Media: Julie Smith placing the Marine Wreath for her son Brock

“Thanks to American Legion Post #66; American Legion Post #66 Auxiliary; Clarion  Eagles  Aerie #3807; Clarion Eagles Aerie # 3807 Auxiliary; VFW Auxiliary Ross McGinnis post # 2145; Clarion Ford, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep Ram; Daughters of the American Revolution – Clarion; Fryburg Sportsmen’s Club; FUN Bank Fryburg.”

Megan Reed Photo: Adam and Luann Walters placing POW MIA Wreath

There were a number of cemeteries included in the ceremony at the Clarion and Immaculate Conception Cemeteries on Second Avenue, including: Clarion; Immaculate Conception; New Rehoboth; Seceder; Frogtown; Tylersburg; Churchville; Strattanville Memorial and Centennial; ,Fisher Presbyterian and Methodist; Licking; Churchville; Dehner; Asbury; and Helen Furnace, which began at Noon.

Boy Scouts placing Wreaths at Strattanville Memorial Cemetery

After the Ceremony, those who were laying wreaths at the various cemeteries, went to their locations for the Wreath Laying.

David Rosenquest Wreath at Asbury Cemetery

Bonnie Aaron was the Greeter. Noreen welcomed the gathering. Then Pastor Sam Swick from Frogtown gave the invocation.

Clarion Civil Air Patrol did the Posting of the Colors, followed by Redbank Valley Freshman Tate Allison playing the National Anthem on the trumpet.

The Boy Scouts led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Courtney Kirkwood placed the POW/MIA chair in memory of T.J. Kirkwood.

Noreen gave the introduction to the Ceremony.

Ceremonial Wreath Laying for the various branches of the Armed Forces followed.

Those laying the wreaths included: Larry Hull – for the U.S. Navy; Mark Wiser – for the U.S. Army; Julie; Smith – for the U.S. Marines; Jacob Allen – for the U.S. Air Force; Catherine Cunningham – for the U.S. Coast Guard; Tina Rankin – for the U.S. Merchant Marines; and Adam and Luann Walters – for the U.S. POW and MIA.

Military Branches Flags at Limestone

Speakers included: Senator Scott Hutchinson; Rex Munsee – Past Clarion County Sheriff; Jodi Hartle – Commander Clarion VFW; Dave Cyphert- Friend of Rick Weaver. Dave’s was a very emotional speech for the audience and himself as he honored his friend who died heroically rescuing others in the attack on the USS Stark. Dave and Rick enlisted together and were in boot camp with each other, before each were assigned to different locations.

Photo Courtesy of Dave Cyphert – ProPoint Media: The Clarion Civil Air Patrol presented and retired the Colors

Tate Allison played TAPS as Gary Mayhon led Triton, the riderless horse along Second Avenue. Triton has been doing this duty for several years and is owned by Monique Nellis of Heavenly Gaits Therapeutic Riding Center.

Megan Reed Photo: Tate Allison, sixth grade student from Clarion-Limestone played the National Anthem and TAPS.

Noreen shared closing thoughts and Reverend Monte Sayers from Immaculate Conception concluded the program with the Benediction.

Three Co-Coordinators, Tina Flick, Kim Beham and Romayne McGinnis shared about their areas:

Tina Flick – Rimersburg Area Coordinator

Wreaths Across America Event was a success at the Rimersburg Cemetery this year. We had the honor of placing wreaths at the following cemeteries: Rimersburg, Seceder, Mausoleum, Sligo, Grandview, UP Church, Randolph, Duncan, Independent, Bethesda and Lawsonham. This year we laid 1296 wreaths.

Laurie Culbertson Hughes photo – Combined Honor Guard

We would like to thank all of our sponsors for 2022.

Our major event Sponsor was The Rimersburg VFW Post #7132.

This year we also had a Diamond Level Sponsor in Memory of Sgt Earle Q McNutt.

We had several Gold Level Sponsors: American Legion Post 454, Rimersburg United Methodist Church In memory of the late Darrell Shick, and Knox Legion Riders Chapter 720.

We had four silver level sponsors this year is Haws Ricker Insurance, Gerry & Sharon Borovick and the Milkhouse Grille and Shelley Schons family.

Laurie Culbertson Hughes photo

Additionally, we had several Bronze Level Sponsors, these include:

The Ackerman Family, Bauer Hillis Funeral Home, Bob & Brenda Brinker, The Brother family including: Charlie, Pat, Jeremy, Karissa, Bradyn; Campbell/Kifer Family, CBF Contracting Inc., Alan & Cathy Clark, Corle/Coradi Family, Tom Custer, Dan & Tina Davis, Rod & Debbie Flick, Brad & Sally George, Butch & Susan Guntrum Family, Hagan Industrial, Larry Jordan Family, Tom Kennedy, Mary Kline, Paula Kline Lojak, Korner Restaurant, Arny & Cathy McKinney, Mike & Sarah Meals, Family of Jim and Margaret Miller Family, Peggy Mortimer, Myers Tire & Service, Heb & Becky Radaker, Elizabeth Randolph, Randolphs Gun Shop, Rimersburg Beverage, Rimersburg Lions Club, Steve & Chrissy Switzer and Bonnie Taylor.

If you are interested in sponsoring wreaths for next year, contact Tina Flick at 814-229-9297.

The wreaths are $15 a piece, but they are running a BOGO special until January 15th, 2023.

Romayne McGinnis – Knox Area Coordinator

On December 17th, 2022 more than 100 adults, students and children gathered at the Knox American Legion Post 720 for a ceremony of the organization Wreaths Across America.  Through the snow flurries and 30 degree weather, these supporters and volunteers stood with reverence to listen to a program honoring the veterans of the United States already passed and those who are now currently serving in the armed forces. 

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Barrett – American Made 4 H leading the Pledge of Allegiance

The American Legion Honor guard placed ceremonial wreaths for the 7 branches of service and the MIA/Prisoners of War.  Those veterans were Commander Tom Amsler, Bob Hartzell, Tony McCool, Bill Black, Bob Clark, Ed Hook, and Don Hahn.  Other participants included the Knox Boy Scout Troop 55 for the posting of the colors, American Made 4 H for leading the Pledge of Allegiance, Keystone student Mason Thompson who sang the National Anthem acapella, Girl Scouts Maci and Emma Colwell who passed out programs, Pastor Doug Dyson of Salem and St. Paul’s Lutheran Parish. 

Knox residents photographer Kathleen Barrett, Mark Krieger who played Amazing Grace on the bagpipes, and 1st SGT Jonathan Ernst  of the Clarion County Army Recruiting Station gave a short speech on the mission of WAA :  Remember the Past, Honor the Present, and Teach the Future.  

I, presided over the ceremony with remarks and instructions for the laying of the wreaths and also thanking all who were involved, supported, and sponsored the wreaths to make this day such a great success.  I then released those in attendance with the 2022 slogan to “Find a Way To Serve” including this day with the laying of 1,028 wreaths in the Knox surrounding 25 cemeteries.

Kim Beham – East Brady/Brady’s Bend Area Coordinator

We had a wonderful turn out to our WAA ceremony. We had about 30 people place wreaths Saturday at Brady’s Bend Presbyterian Cemetery and St Patrick’s Cemetery. The oldest volunteer was Bob Loose at 92 Years. He served in the Korean War. The youngest was 5 year old Alexis from NY state.

Ninety year old, Korean War Veteran Bob Loose placing Wreaths in Brady’s Bend

We raised enough in donations to cover 6 of 17 cemeteries in our area placing over 380 wreaths. Thanks to all who helped with the ceremony, lunch following and placing the wreaths.

(Thank you to all involved for your work on this great endeavor!!!! Thank You, Veterans, For Your Service!!!! Thank you to everyone who comments or whose photos were used!!)

East Brady’s / Brady’s Bend Area Wreath Laying

More Photos

Don Montgomery’s Wreath at Churchville Cemetery
Megan Reed Photo: Ralph Montana’s Wreath at Immaculate Conception Cemetery
Kinley Luton Age 7 photo by mom Ashley Girl Scout Troop 27313
Photo by Elaine Call – Christopher Call, Sgt. PA Army National Guard, standing by his Grandfather’s grave. His grandfather was William Benton Call II, Vietnam Army Sgt. He passed away on December 17, 2020 . Our children William Benton Call IV, Addison, Carter, and Hailey Call.
Megan Reed Photo: Clarion Civil Air Patrol Cadets Theo Sweet (saluting) and Alex Hummell
Frank S. Ross, War of 1898 Veteran’s Wreath