A cold and rainy day didn’t dampen the spirits and resolve of the people who came to take part in the first Gold Star Mother’s Wreath Laying Ceremony at Sunset Memorial Cemetery here in Chester. In addition to the Chesterfield County Police Color Guard, a unit of Army personnel from Fort Lee, American Legion Riders, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and a representative from each branch of the military service, a large group of adults and children also attended the Dec. 14 ceremony.
Many, like Chester natives Kim Radcliff and Tammy Holzbach were there to volunteer to help lay the evergreen wreaths on the graves of veterans. Both ladies wanted to be a part of something special, and to show respect and honor to the deceased veterans buried at Sunset.
Others, like Chester resident Wayne Watson, had a more personal motivation. Wayne, a Vietnam era Marine veteran was there to honor the memory of his deceased father-in-law, Douglas Evans, Sr., a WWII era Marine veteran.
“It’s good to stop and remember these veterans,” Wayne said, “not just my family, but all veterans. Each one of us was willing to go where our country sent us with no promise that we would return. Many of us did, but many others were killed in action. We need to remember. And to see these parents here with their children honoring the deceased veterans is especially encouraging – passing on to the next generation respect for the veterans. This is a very good thing.”