A National Day of Mourning led people from all over the area to the Fort Drum Military Cemetery. That's where a wreath-laying service was held for those who served who didn't make it home.
FORT DRUM, N.Y. -- The ceremony links two countries and many families. The Fort Drum Military Cemetery is the resting place of six German prisoners of war who died during World War II.
Each year, The Watertown German-American Club hosts a Wreath-Laying service with German and American military leaders.
The club's president says it’s nice to tie the two countries together. The wreath is laid as Germany observes their National Day of Mourning.
“I think a lot of people remember their own family members, maybe in the war or after or if they died in the war. Maybe also American remembers their soldiers or someone else who couldn’t come home,” said Ursula Mickle, President of German American Club.
The wreath laying ceremony symbolizes those lost and people who come are honored to be here.
One of the German military representatives on hand was Lieutenant-Colonel Samuel Mbassa. It was the first time German leaders watched the ceremony in person.
“I think it’s something special to see so many different people whether they are active duty, veterans or just civilian community from here to take part in such an event to mark somehow the morning of German POW or former POWs, and I feel really honored to be here,” said Lt. Col. Samuel Mbassa.
Irvine Buchal has attended this ceremony for the past 11 years and is no stranger to the German heritage.
“My folks come right from Germany, and I remember when this all happened when they died...I remember,” said Buchal.
The ceremony also recognizes military members who gave their lives fighting injustice here at home and abroad.