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Memorial Day ceremony in Grafenwoehr honors war dead

James Joyce, senior vice commander of VFW 10692 in Grafenwoehr, Germany, lays a wreath on the grave of American Army veteran George Eby during a Memorial Day ceremony held on Monday, May 30, 2016. Eby was the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post's first commander and is buried in Grafenwoehr.

MICHAEL DARNELL/STARS AND STRIPES

By MICHAEL S. DARNELL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: May 30, 2016

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The rain didn’t stop the local military community from turning out Monday to honor 14 American soldiers buried in the heart of town.

Veterans with the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars were joined by active duty soldiers, high school students and members of two veterans’ motorcycle clubs in a wreath-laying ceremony at the grave site of George Eby.

A veteran of the wars in Korea and Vietnam and the first VFW post 10692 commander, Eby died in Grafenwoehr in 2009. He was buried alongside 13 other American soldiers at a cemetery in town.

Each year, the local American military community chooses one veteran to honor with a ceremony.

After a reading, display of colors and laying of flowers at Eby’s grave, the group moved to a cemetery in Flossenburg, Germany, to do the same for two U.S. airmen who died there in World War II.

Although there were no veterans from that war in attendance, those present said remembering their sacrifices and those who fought in wars before and since was why they spent the day in commemoration.

“As long as there is one remaining veteran, as long as there is one still alive, veterans will honor those that are dead,” said Gladwin Spohr, quartermaster for VFW post 10692.

darnell.michael@stripes.com

George Eby is one of 14 American veterans buried in a small plot in the heart of Grafenwoehr, Germany. Each year, members of the local American community lay wreaths at one of the gravesites of their fallen comrades, as they did on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016.
MICHAEL DARNELL/STARS AND STRIPES

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