Veterans remembered throughout county

November 11, 2000|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Veterans remembered throughout county

Veterans were remembered and honored throughout Washington County Saturday.

It was a Veterans Day with added significance for many who paid special tribute to the two county sailors killed in a terrorist attack a month ago.

"Every Veterans Day and every Memorial Day we come with heavy hearts. This Veterans Day we come with heavier hearts," said Jim Sprecher, president of the Joint Veterans Council of Washington County.

"A tragedy hit close to home. This day is dedicated to the two who died on the USS Cole," he said.


Sprecher spoke at a ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Wall in the Martin L. "Marty" Snook Park in Halfway.

Seaman Craig Wibberley, 19, of Williamsport, and Navy Fireman Patrick Howard Roy, 19, of Keedysville, were killed in the Oct. 12 attack on the USS Cole.

Roy and Wibberley were also remembered at Veterans Day ceremonies in Hancock and in downtown Hagerstown.

In Hancock, town Mayor Daniel Murphy said the attack on the USS Cole served as a reminder that those in the military are always at risk.

Murphy and several other dignitaries, including U.S. Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett, R-Md., were at Widmeyer Park for the formal dedication of a new veterans monument.

In Hagerstown, special wreaths honoring the two sailors were placed at the Washington County Courthouse.

An estimated 200 people attended both the Hancock and Hagerstown ceremonies.

At the Snook Park ceremony Craig Wibberley's father, Tom Wibberley, received a Maryland House of Delegates resolution honoring his son from Del. Robert A. McKee, R-Washington.

"This Veterans Day is more significant to me because I just lost my son," said Tom Wibberley, who served in the Marines from 1966 to 1970.

"I'm still very proud to be an American. I'm glad I served and I'm glad Craig served, but I'll miss him 'til the day I die," Wibberley said.

Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Rodney Shoop, the county administrator and featured speaker at the ceremony at the park, said: "Today is our day to honor the men and women who have served our country in military service and their families.

"Now is the time we pause to become conscious of the freedoms of our democracy and celebrate in it, remembering what our country has done for each of us and asking ourselves what we can do in return."

Rosalyn "Pat" Wolford, coordinator of the ceremony at the courthouse, said: "This is a time when we pause to honor and pay tribute to our veterans. But also to thank them for the many freedoms we enjoy."

Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, marks the anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918.

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