Area ritual team extends invitation to new members
Members of an area ritual team are asking those who have served in the armed forces, auxiliary members and veteran’s service organization members to become part of the team and to volunteer for burial honors.
The area ritual team is made up of members from Anna VFW Post 3455, Cairo VFW Post 2649, Mounds VFW Post 8891 and American Legion Post 178 Villa Ridge.
Those who are involved with the ritual team say that the major qualification to participate is a desire to “want to belong.” Training is provided, as needed.
As of Oct. 2, burial honors have been provided by the ritual team for 38 deceased comrades. By the end of the year, the number is most likely to exceed 50.
The team has marched in five parades, displaying Old Glory. Memorial Day was described as “a day of maximum effort” for the team’s rifle squad.
Flag Day was observed with a ceremony to retire tattered American flags “with dignity.”
Veterans Day and the upcoming Wreath Over America ceremony are expected to be very busy days for the team. Veterans service organizations long have had ritual teams. However, at one point team membership began to decline. Death and age took their toll on veterans of World War II and the Korean War.
In 2002, the ritual team was reinvented. A small group of dedicated volunteers was formed. Funeral directors saw a need and believed in the team.
The team is looking for, and welcomes, younger veterans, both male and female, to ease the strain on older members.
For more informtion, call Jim Richards at 618-745-9575, Ronald Kennedy at 618-306-3892, Thelbert Moss at 618-771-9228 or Mark Haddick at 618-893-4638.