Text and Photos
By Brianna Pitts
WINONA LAKE — Zimmer Biomet’s Veterans Resource Group hosted their Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony on Thursday, May 25.
The ceremony began with Warsaw Community High School’s Army Junior ROTC Battalion posting the colors alongside the Fort Wayne Scottish Pipes and Drum Corps playing the bagpipes.
Following this, the Honor Detail, provided by members of the Warsaw Veterans Foreign Wars Post 1126 and the Warsaw American Legion Post 49, performed a three volley salute to honor those fallen.
Jim Waldrop, the master of ceremonies, welcomed and thanked those in attendance, listing the names of the Gold Star families that were being honored at the ceremony.
Those being remembered and honored were read as follows:
- Marine Lance Corporal David Fribley
- Indiana National Guardsman SFC Craig Boling
- Army SPC Brian Penisten
- Army SGT Marvin Trost-III
- Army SGT Paul Heltzel
- Army SPC Jeffrey Corban
- Army CPL Jonathan Blair
- Army SSG Brock Beery
- Marine Lance CPL David Sanchez
- Indiana National Guardsman SSG Paul Pabla
- Marine CPL Aaron Seal
- Army 1LT Neale Shank
- Army PFC Richard Langenbrunner
- Army SPC David Wilkey
- Army CPL Ryan Woodward
Following this, Waldrop introduced the guest speaker for the ceremony, Senior Vice President of Global Operations and Logistics at Zimmer Biomet and retired Navy Senior Chief Petty Officer, Ken Tripp.
Tripp spoke to those in attendance, quoting the late Senator John McCain, saying, ” I am constantly reminded of the dedication and commitment shown by this nation’s service members. Military service and the defense of our nation is one of the highest callings and I am thankful for your commitment to a cause that is greater than your own self-interest.” Tripp went on to say that this is a quality rarely seen in today’s world.
“It never ceases to amaze me the level of courage that comes from those who fought,” said Tripp. “Whether it was soldiers from the Battle of Bunker Hill to soldiers fighting a global war on terrorism, all of them said the same thing to themselves, ‘if not me, then who?'”
He ended his speech by speaking about the importance of the nation truly taking the time to reflect and remember the heroes that lived by this statement with their whole being until the very end.
Notable people in attendance at the ceremony included Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, Winona Lake City Manager Craig Allebach, Winona Lake and Warsaw Police Department and Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office officers and deputies; Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory firefighters; and Army World War II Veteran Charlie Garner.