Osage Bend church honors veterans’ sacrifices

Janet Koetting, left, Marilyn Daledovich and Judy Hoelscher hold and fasten the large wreath to the flagpole in the Veterans Memorial at St. Margaret’s Cemetery. Volunteers from the community of Osage Bend have worked to raise money to improve the cemetery and to decorate veterans’ graves.

Janet Koetting, left, Marilyn Daledovich and Judy Hoelscher hold and fasten the large wreath to the flagpole in the Veterans Memorial at St. Margaret’s Cemetery. Volunteers from the community of Osage Bend have worked to raise money to improve the cemetery and to decorate veterans’ graves. Photo by Julie Smith.

For the fourth year in a row, women with the St. Margaret Church in Osage Bend are decorating the graves of veterans who fought in wars throughout our country’s history.

Judy Hoelscher is part of the group who puts grapevine wreaths on 20 graves.

“We’re up there several times a year, not just Memorial Day,” she said. “We do it on all the major holidays, even in the wind, rain and snow.”

Along with flags, the women decorate the graves of veterans who served from the Civil War to the Vietnam War.

“There was a history on veterans for a book that ladies of the church worked on in 2007 and that, along with the Wreaths Across America program, gave us the idea to do this,” Hoelscher said.

The men’s group for St. Margaret also recently put up a memorial for the veterans in the cemetery and the women also decorate it.

“I have a great-grandfather who was one of the Civil War veterans, and I guess that’s why I took an interest,” Hoelscher said. “One time, I had to get everything ready by myself, and as I did each one, I took time to meditate and think about what they did to serve. Something like that is very near and dear to all of us who are involved.”

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