Honor guard pays tribute at Warsaw’s Civil War memorial, Drawing Others
Traffic was stopped. The honor guard stood at attention, followed by the playing of taps and a rifle salute. The crowd clapped as the veterans marched back to their vehicles. It was just one of multiple salutes planned in Warsaw, Wyoming County, and the state and nation beyond.
“We celebrate it for all veterans,” said Commander Jack Rase of Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard. “From World War I, Revolutionary War, Civil War, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and the ones who are in it right now. Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Iraq and all the others.”
The honor guard included about 20 people representing veterans organizations from throughout the county. They were also set to conduct ceremonies Friday at Warsaw’s nursing homes, along with the Grandview Terrace apartment complex.
Besides conducting the ceremonies, they also got a thank you card from a youngster after Thursday’s commemoration at the memorial. They remain committed, as always, to their fellow veterans.
Rase said the Joint Veterans Council Honor Guard travels every Wednesday to participate in ceremonies at the National Veterans Cemetery in Pembroke. They had participated in the interment of 23 Wyoming County veterans in a separate service the day before.
“It’s a national cemetery,” he said. “It’s the only one on this end of the state. Bath is almost full, Saratoga’s full, and you’ve got to go to Long Island to get to the next one. There’s over 1,000 buried in Pembroke already in less than a year.
“The families graciously appreciate us being there,” he continued. “It’s unbelievable.”
The honor guard only knows the name of the person being buried and the branch of service, he said. But they often examine the gravestones afterward, learning more about where and when the people served.
So Thursday’s ceremony was another salute to those who served, by those who also served in the military, and the public who stood by to observe[, remember, and honor with their presence, all our veterans].