Ceremony Honoring German and Italian POWs
A ceremony was held over the weekend honoring German and Italian Soldiers who died during World War two. Nearly 100 people attended the event when only a handful were expected to be in attendance. Half of those in attendance were students.
The German-Italian Cemetery at McClellan is where more than 20 German and Italian Soldiers now rest. Every November, residents create a special wreath-laying ceremony to honor the soldiers who were held as prisoners of war in Alabama during World War two.
During the ceremony, officers quietly lay wreaths over the graves. As they finished laying the wreaths on every grave, both German and American Officers saluted the trumpet players as they played a traditional German Soldier’s song. Lt. Col. Cory Roberts has been the Master of Ceremony for two years and he says he was pleased with how many people came to pay their respects.
Lincoln High School World and American History teacher Harvey Edwards encouraged all of his students to attend the ceremony to be able to experience living history. Edwards says nearly 50 students attended and brought family members. The history teacher hopes his students’ grasped one important lesson during the wreath-laying ceremony.
During World War two, about 16,000 prisoners were once held in 24 Prisoner of War camps around the state. Edwards also said that most of his students were glad they came to the ceremony.