The highlight of the weekend took place Saturday morning as Dale Ebinger and Thom Price, along with Norwalk High students Darren Raymond and Ethan Byrd, participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
Price, who also coordinated and led the weekend tour, was honored to be a part of the ceremony with Ebinger.
“Mr. Ebinger was the only World War II veteran on the trip, and one of only four remaining from that conflict in the county. It was an honor to recognize the ultimate sacrifice paid by our veterans for Huron County with him,” Price said.
Twenty-seven Huron County veterans took part in the trip, visiting the monuments and memorials recognizing their service. Stops were made at the Air Force and Marines Memorial, Disabled Veterans Memorial, the Pentagon, and the Vietnam War, Korea and World War II Memorials, as well.
The veterans were accompanied by eight students from Norwalk High School, chaperoned by science teacher and veteran, Nathan Whaley. The students assisted those veterans who needed help walking or in wheelchairs, and interviewed the veterans on their experiences.
A large percentage of the veterans participated in the Vietnam War. During the visit to the Vietnam Memorial, special honor coins were left in memory of each serviceman from Huron County who died. Sketches were also made of their names, which will be presented to the local VFW’s in the communities where they lived.
The Norwalk Eagles served as a major sponsor of the trip again this year, in addition to the Norwalk VFW. Other sponsors were American Legions in Norwalk and New London, Knights of Columbus in Bellevue, and Eagles Aeries in Bellevue, New London and Wakeman, along with these businesses: Baumann Auto Group, Norwalk Concrete, Oglesby Construction, American Timber and Steel, Firelands Federal Credit Union, DAV Chapter 62, Norwalk Plumbers and Steamfitters and Smith Paving and Excavating. Personal donations were received from the Dan McElhatten and Melvin and Amy Battles families.
A highlight of the trip was during the return ride home, as Norwalk students took turns describing what the weekend meant to them.
Darren Raymond said spending time with the veterans is something he will always remember, “as you (the veterans) are an example of how I should live my life.”
The next Honor Trip is scheduled for the first weekend in October, 2017. For more information, contact Thom Price at 419-577-2376.