Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans commemorated past, present and future veterans with the dedication of a memorial bench at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen on Saturday.
“Everyone that was really a part of the bench came out,” said Sheila Timmons, Star Group-VHV executive officer. “This made the ceremony special.”
Over the course of a year, Scott Funeral Home’s co-owner Ronnie Viss helped Star Group-VHV design and order the bench.
Pat Bernhard covered the cost of the 8-foot-by-4-foot concrete slab on which the bench rests. His donation reduced the overall expense of the project, which was funded by monetary donations from multiple donors.
During the dedication, Star Group president Jonathan Haywood thanked guests for coming out and contributing time and funds for the memorial bench. Several local leaders added their remarks about the memorial bench and the state veterans cemetery.
“This is the right resting place and the right location for the memorial bench,” said Scott Cosper, state representative for District 54. Cosper explained that the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery will eventually be the final resting place for about 50,000 veterans.
The memorial bench is intended to provide comfort to veterans’ families and friends. “This shows humanity honors those that have died and personally makes sure our descendants have peace of mind,” said Cove Mayor Frank Seffrood.
Near the end of the dedication, Michael Barker and Renee Howard presented a Star Group-VHV wreath adorned with the American flag. Arthur Bryant played taps to honor fallen veterans. After closing prayers, attendees walked to the covered bench, which is next to a memorial honoring Fort Hood soldiers who died in Iraq and Afghanistan.