South Carolina Rep. Rice places wreath to honor veterans at Florence National Cemetery

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PHOTO: U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW) – While traditional Memorial Day ceremonies at the Florence National Cemetery were canceled this year because of COVID-19, South Carolina Rep. Tom Rice visited the ceremony ahead of the holiday and placed a wreath to honor the more than 12,000 people buried there.

“We are here today in the National Cemetery in Florence, South Carolina, which was formed in 1865 right after the war between the states for Veterans of that great, bloody conflict in our country that can never, ever be repeated, Rice said in a YouTube video. “All these folks served our country and many of them gave their lives on the battlefield. Let’s remember those folks today.

“Let’s think about the families of these folks, who are grieving today. Let’s remember them. Let’s remember people like James Elliot Williams, a Medal of Honor recipient who served in Korea and Vietnam, from right here in Darlington, South Carolina. And let’s remember the folks who are currently serving, who are serving our country today, and can’t be with their families. Let’s remember them.”

Even though the traditional ceremony was canceled this year, Carolyn Howard, the cemetery’s director, said staff members had flags available on Saturday for anyone who wanted to volunteer to place them on the graves of veterans.

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