On June 6, 2019, Thurmont Grange #409 hosted it’s second annual Veterans Appreciation Program.
The evening began with a welcome by Thurmont Grange Lecturer Niki Eyler. Grange members, Jim Moser and Addison Eyler, lead the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem. Boy Scout Troop 270 presented the flag folding ceremony, while Granger Sandy Moser gave the meaning of each fold of the flag. Following was a special honor of veteran and Granger John Hart, who passed earlier this year. Members of Boy Scout Troop 270 presented his wife, Cindy Hart, and daughter, Carrie Shives, with the folded flag in memory of John and his service to our country. For all guests, it was very touching to watch the flag folding ceremony, learn its meaning, and be part of its presentation in honor of one of our local veterans.
One of Thurmont Grange’s 2018 community service projects was making a Quilt of Valor. This beautiful quilt was created by not only several Grange members, but also the Rocky Ridge Progressive 4-H Sewing Club and Thurmont resident, Bev Eckenrode. The quilt was presented to Wacahu Grange member, Alton Hoopengardner, at the 2018 MD State Grange Conference. To make that presentation even more special, a second quilt was donated and presented to Linganore Grange member, Maurice Wiles. A PowerPoint presentation, narrated by Niki Eyler, was shared with Veterans Appreciation Program guests, which summarized the quilt from yards of material to the presentation of both quilts. To highlight this, the quilts were on display for everyone to admire.
The evenings honorees were recommended by Thurmont Grangers and friends of Thurmont Grange. Those recognized were James Kilby (Navy 84-05), Valaria Kilby (Navy 88-92), Wayne Wireman (Army 70-72), Bryan Umberger (Marines 91-97 & Army 97-11), Raymond Long (Army 54-56), Maurice Wiles (Army 56-62), Larry Clabaugh (Navy 69-77), Alton Hoopengardner (Army 62-65), Ed Gravatt (Air Force 61-69) and Douglas Zimmerman (Air Force 78-95). It was definitely a privilege to say “Thank you for your service!” to these selfless men and women who chose to serve in the United States Armed Forces.
As June 6 was the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird said a few words, and respectfully asked for a moment of silence in remembrance of those who bravely fought that day and those who gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy in the name of freedom.
The evening’s program was ended with a prayer, read by Sandy Moser and the singing of “God Bless America.” Many guests and honorees remained to enjoy refreshments, fellowship, conversation about the importance of June 6, and reminisce about their years of service.
If you are interested in learning more about Thurmont Grange, please call Rodman Myers at 301-271-2104 or Niki Eyler at 301-471-5158.
Honored veterans (from left): (back row) Doug Zimmerman, Larry Clabaugh, Maurice Wiles, Bryan Umberger; (front row) Niki Eyler (Granger), Linda Bernstein (accepting on behalf of Alton Hoopengardner), Ed Gravatt, Raymond Long, Valaria Kilby, Wayne Wireman, James Kilby, and Carol Long (Granger).
Scout Troop 270 flag folding ceremony participants (from left): Annalisa Russell, Adre Russell, Seth Young, and Tanner Seiss.
Addison, Jody and Niki Eyler admiring Maurice Wiles’ Quilt of Valor.