On Veterans Day in Pikesville, six military veterans who are recently deceased were honored for their service.
Friends and family members of the six veterans attended the ceremony at Druid Ridge Cemetery, led by the 101st Airborne Division Association of Springfield, VA.
It was held at the Charles E. Kratz Memorial Park, founded by Kratz, who is now deceased, and who, along with his wife, Cass, is buried nearby.
The six veterans are:
- Army veteran Eston Coyner Wyatt, private first class, of World War II
- Army veteran Stephen Hale Bartlett, who was second lieutenant in World War II
- Navy veteran Raymond Lester Richardson, seaman first class, World War II
- Air Force veteran Henry Roger Elliot, airman third class, Korean Conflict
- Merchant seaman Norman Neil German, of World War II
- Army veteran William Frank Long, specialist, of the Vietnam War
Kratz began the memorial park because his deceased family members were buried there, said Barbara Houck, his niece, of Severna Park, who was at the memorial service.
Houck is the owner of the McDonald's on Reisterstown Road, near Slade Avenue, in Pikesville.
While Kratz was grieving the death of his wife, he decided to create the memorial park: "a place for (deceased) homeless veterans at that time, or veterans without family," she explained.
It's expanded, however, and now "families want them buried here," because it's a beautiful place and the ceremonies are personal, she said.