HERMITAGE, Pa. (WKBN) – People gathered in Hermitage Wednesday to honor four Mercer County veterans at America’s Cemetery.
Family members were present during the Veterans Day ceremony, where the servicemen’s ashes were lowered into an 80-foot cylinder in the ground.
For the four families, it was the final honor, as their loved ones’ ashes were laid to rest.
“We had a wonderful marriage, we were best friends all of our lives,” Katherine Heess said of her husband Judson, honored at the ceremony. “We had a wonderful life together.”
Judson passed away last year from prostate cancer. He was exposed to Agent Orange during his time in the Air Force, something that’s been proven to be related to certain types of cancer.
His ashes, along with three others’, were given full military honors Wednesday.
“I’m honoring my husband and all of the other veterans,” Heess said.
Heess and the other families were helped by Lieutenant Colonel Larry Scheetz. He’s currently the Mercer County Director of Veteran Affairs. Before that, he spent 39 years in the Army.
“Sometimes it’s a life changing job I have,” Scheetz said.
Elaine McJilton’s son, Jack was honored at the ceremony. A plaque of him is now on display at America’s Cemetery.
“You couldn’t have had a better day,” Elaine McJilton said. “It was very nice, he was very active in helping other veterans when they came back.”