Wreaths help honor veterans

REMEMBERING VETERANS — Cade Kernahan, a Steubenville High School sophomore, lays a wreath on the grave of a veteran at Union Cemetery as part of the Wreaths Across America celebrated across the nation on Saturday. Wendy Barr, local coordinator for the event, said 238 wreaths were laid on the graves. -- Mark Law

STEUBENVILLE — The lives of locals veterans were remembered Saturday as about 100 people came out on a rainy Saturday to participate in the Wreaths Across America at Union Cemetery.

Wendy Barr, local coordinator, said 238 wreaths were laid at the graves of veterans following a solemn ceremony. She said there are more than 2,500 veterans buried at the cemetery. She hopes to generate enough money to lay the balsam wreaths on all the graves in the years ahead.

The wreaths were laid on every fourth grave, but Barr told the volunteers to stop at each grave and say out loud the name of the veteran buried there.

Clayton Criss of the Steubenville High School Key Club served as the master of ceremonies. He said about 1,600 similar ceremonies were held at cemeteries across the country on Saturday as part of the Wreaths Across America. It was the first time an event was held locally.

“The freedom we enjoy has not come without a price,” he said.

He said Wreaths Across America is a gesture remembering the price paid for freedom.

“We shall not forget you. We shall remember you. We are here today to say thank you and we honor you. We are not here to decorate graves. We are here today to remember their lives,” he said.

Barr said, “Wreaths achieve our mission to remember, honor and teach.”

The presentation of the flag was conducted by the Tri-State Young Marines. Pupils from Pugliese West Elementary School recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The Steubenville High School Band performed the national anthem. Veterans of the armed services branches presented memorial wreaths, including: Richard Barr Sr., Army; Raymond Barth, Marine Corps; state Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Adena, Navy; Schelley Brooks, Jefferson County Veterans Service Commission executive director, Air Force; Eric Budash, Coast Guard; Christopher Clutter, Merchant Marine; and Barr, POW-MIA.

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