Memorial Day: Residents remember

Waterville Cemetery is decorated for the Memorial Day ceremony May 29. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

 

By Karen Larsen
Empire Press Correspondent

Waterville children pose near a flag following the Memorial Day ceremony. Shown are Hana Hinderer, Hanna Nelson, May Hinderer, Lexi Nelson, Asa Hinderer and Ty Nelson. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Waterville Cemetery Memorial Day ceremony organizer Jim Bone concluded this year’s service by pointing out that the ceremony is simple but very meaningful in Waterville.

“Every year you come here and honor these veterans,” Bone explained.

Similar words were spoken afterwards by many of those who had attended. Some commented on how nice it was to see children at the service. Others commented on how not every community has a Memorial Day ceremony and for those that do have a ceremony, not all of them are well-attended. People were thankful that they live in a community where people remember and people care.

This year’s ceremony, held on May 29, was dedicated to two Waterville veterans who passed away in the last year. They are Bill Phillips and Robert Hensel.

Phillips was an Air Force and Marine Corps veteran as well as a retired police officer. In past years, he was one of the men to fire during the gun salute at the Memorial Day ceremony. Bob Hensel was a World War II veteran and a local lawyer, who had lived in East Wenatchee in recent years.

Tom Petersen and Ken Willms perform during the Memorial Day ceremony. (Empire Press photo/Karen Larsen)

Longtime Waterville resident Barbara Firoved was this year’s speaker. She told the story of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and of the sacrifices that the signers endured for their convictions. Firoved is the mother of three veterans, two who served in the Vietnam War and one who served on U.S. soil.

Local musicians Tom Petersen and Ken Willms played two songs on the guitar: “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The flag was raised and lowered in honor of Bob Hensel. Men gave a gun salute, “Taps” was played and there was a benediction given by Young Life leader Mike Grande.

Following the ceremony, many walked around the cemetery to pay respects to family members and friends who are buried there. Seth, Khloe and Amy Suppes spent time at the grave of their grandfather and their great-grandparents. They did not have a chance to know their grandfather or their great-grandfather, but their great-grandmother, Barbara Suppes, was active in their lives until she passed away last fall.

The children’s mother, Krystle Crofcheck, said that usually they are out of town on Memorial Day weekend, but this year they stayed in Waterville and were able to attend the ceremony.

“We wanted to make sure we brought the kids to see it and be a part of it,” Crofcheck said. She added that she thinks coming to the ceremony will be a new tradition for them.

On the older end of the age spectrum was Cassie Besel, 98, a longtime resident of Waterville, and her granddaughter Erin Cass of Wenatchee. Besel spent time visiting the graves of her husband, two daughters, sister, brother-in-law and niece.

 

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