The St. Marys Servicemen Burial Detail's 60th Anniversary Banquet Dinner at the Bavarian Hills Restaurant on Saturday night saw more than 95 attendees gathered for what Detail president and the evenings Master of Ceremonies Joe Rigard said is a means of thanking those in the community for supporting the organization.
"We want to thank our members and sponsors and anybody that helps us during the course of the year," Rigard said.
The Burial Detail, founded in 1952, provides complimentary military rites during the funeral services of deceased veterans in the area. In his opening remarks Rigard made mention of the fact that 2011 was "unfortunately" a record setting year for the detail with their providing military rites at 58 military funerals. Prior to this last year the record stood at 42.
In recognizing Purple Heart recipients Leo Rigard and Leo Simbeck as part of Saturday's proceedings, Burial Detail Sergeant Tom Price also discussed the diminishing ranks of World War II veterans. Price stressed the importance of recognizing their service adding that, "We're losing them. People don't know who they are, they're like ghosts in the wind...You don't have to look in the history books to find heroes."
In honoring Rigard and Simbeck, Price discussed the specifics of each man's service or their "resumes" as he put it.