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In an early Memorial Day commemoration, Centre Care honors those who died in military service and COVID-19 victims

Centre Care Wreath
Logan Groeneveld-Meijer
A wreath is laid out at Centre Care in College Township to remember the community's lives lost to COVID-19.

In the lead-up to Memorial Day, residents and staff of Centre Care in College Township gathered Wednesday to honor those who died in military service and from COVID-19.

In front of the Centre Care building on the edge of State College, a 21-gun salute and flag pole dedication brought out a few dozen residents and staff of the nursing home.

Among the attendees was Gerald Weaver, a veteran of the United States Navy. The 89-year-old said he’s honoring both those who died and those whose lives were permanently affected in service.

“Just remembering all the servicemen that were here," Weaver said. "Most of these people here, some of them were wounded. I wasn’t because I didn’t get into an actual battle. But it was good to serve the country.”

The memorial service also involved laying a wreath dedicated to residents lost to COVID-19, including 70 who died at Centre Care’s old facility, Centre Crest. Betsy Boyer is the President of the Centre Care Board. She said it helps to heal together.

“All of our residents become family to all of us," Boyer said. "And those losses were hard, very hard. So to be able to say, ‘We remember, we know the loss you suffered’ is important.”

Boyer said she wants residents to feel valued, at home and honored, so they can live their best lives for as long as possible.

Logan Groeneveld-Meijer is a radio news intern for WPSU. He is a sophomore at Penn State University majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in Spanish.