We, the Guardians of the National Cemetery, began our tenth year at Washington Crossing National Cemetery (WCNC) with our annual banquet recognizing the Washington Crossing Honor Guard at Northampton Country Club. During the banquet we unveiled a PowerPoint slide show of photos of the cemetery over the years. Narration of the slide show was actually a copy of the remarks presented at the dedication of the Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in June 2018.
A technical glitch resulted in the show not displaying properly that evening and thus we had to provide an internet link to all over the next few days. Although the unveiling was a bit disappointing the ultimate product was an accurate and moving accounting of WCNC and the Guardians organization.
Memorial Day was a beautiful day for our day remembering of our brothers and sisters. Our event was attended by over 700 persons, including a choral group of high school aged students from the Rejoice Youth Choir of Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, TN.
Over the years, the Guardians organization has donated the flag poles for the Avenue of Flags and has coordinated with various volunteer groups to have the flag pole bases installed. Participating organizations include the Boy Scouts of America, the Society of American Military Engineers, Johnson & Johnson, and others.
As we know the flags flown on the Avenue of Flags are actual burial flags donated back to the WCNC by the families of the deceased. A very touching and meaningful act on the part of the families.
Inclement weather often takes a toll on the flags themselves. Unfortunately, wind and rain after the Veterans Day 2019 display damaged over half of the donated flags, forcing them to be properly retired. That resulted in a lack of an adequate number of flags for the Avenue.
Over the summer of 2019 the Guardian organization coordinated the completion of the Avenue of Flags from the main entrance all the way around the assembly, main flag pole, area with new flag poles and burial-sized all-weather flags. Without the Guardians’ interceding the Avenue of Flags would not have been displayed for Veterans Day. The Avenue of Flags now encompasses 144 flags and poles.
WCNC was again a participant of Wreaths Across America (WAA) in December. A volunteer group from VFW 5542, Terchon Post, in Levittown took the lead in this project and was able to have a wreath placed on each grave within WCNC, over 13,000 wreaths.
On this 10th anniversary of WAA at WCNC the volunteer group elected to recognize the Washington Crossing Honor Guard members for their 10 years of dedicated service to remembering all veterans interred at WCNC.