Group removes wreaths at season's end

| 22 Jan 2018 | 01:26

To everything there is a season says the Pete Seger song Turn, Turn, Turn inspired by a verse from Ecclesiastes in the Bible. The official closing of the Christmas season was marked by the removal of Christmas wreaths from the graves of veterans buried at the Northern New Jersey Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Sparta.
Roughly 40 volunteers removed the wreaths from each veterans’ graves on Saturday, Jan. 20. The holiday grave decorations were originally placed on each grave as part of the Wreaths Across America program held before Christmas. The removal was organized by Vietnam era veteran Bill Gardner of Shohola, Pa.
According to cemetery official Lisa Van Blarcom-Permunian, there are currently 123 veterans interred at the cemetery. Van Blarcom-Permunian, who is intrigued by history and genealogy can relay some wonderful stories about the lives of the veterans buried there.
Only two women military personnel are interred at the Northern NJ Veterans cemetery. Evelyn Rorrer, a member of the Women’s Army Corps or WACs during World War II is one, while former marine Barbara Rostelli is the other female vet.
“Mr. Lang was buried here this past week,” said Van Blarcom- Permunian.
It seems Mr. Lang escaped Nazi Germany and came to the United States where he was drafted in the US Army and while serving during World War II was captured and sent to a prisoner of war camp.
“His wife also experienced the misfortune of being in a concentration camp,” added Van Blarcom- Permunian.
Now as the brave veterans rest under a blanket of snow, the cemetery looks forward to honoring the vets on its next celebration on Memorial Day, 2018.