Wreaths placed on graves of veterans at Indiantown Gap
CAROL ZICKLER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Kathy and Brian Sommers place a wreath on the grave of Chester "Ace" Gieniec of Summit Hill at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Kathy serves as VFW auxiliary president and her husband serves as commander of VFW Post 80008 in Nesquehoning.
Veterans buried at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery at Annville were not forgotten on Saturday as numerous military dignitaries gathered for a ceremony held in the Serenity Gardens.
Representing the Nesquehoning VFW Post 8008, those who traveled to Annville brought along 30 wreaths for placement. Actually they collected $1,800 for the remaining wreaths, but three Christmas treefarms donated ten wreaths each. Walkers, Yensers, and Hills each helped out with the cause.
Brian and Kathy Sommers, who head the Nesquehoning post and auxiliary, made sure that local resident "Ace" Gieniec, who passed away in October, received a wreath on his grave site.
The military cemetery selects one area of the cemetery each year for wreath placement. Attending the ceremony were the Sommers, along with other Nesquehoning VFW post 8008 representatives, who placed wreaths on graves.
The main building distributes maps of the cemetery and who is buried in what section. Prior to the placement, a ceremony held in the Serenity Garden, had an impressive wreath ceremony, consisting of Gold Star Mothers and escorts. The Serenity Gardens has a design that evokes the ruins of a war torn building centered in a land of solemnity. Placing wreaths were the following U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Air Force. U.S. Merchant Marines, POW/MIA, and USA Flag. Also attending were Rifle Squads, Boy Scouts, Civil Air Patrol and motorcycle groups.
The cemetery, dedicated in September 1982, is one of the over 129 national cemeteries administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration, and the oldest and largest national cemetery in Pennsylvania. There are 677 acres and is planned to hold a half million interments. Some 35,000 veterans and their dependents from many states have found their final resting place there.