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Area Chiefs care for 451 American infants resting place
U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Ed Rosemeier, 86th Mission Support Group superintendent Squadron mows the grounds of the Kaiserslautern Kindergraves Memorial Cemetery in preparation for a yearly remembrance ceremony.The 2010 Kindergraves memorial ceremony will take place May 15 at 10 a.m. at the U.S. Army Daenner Kaserne Chapel. (Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael Voss)
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Area Chiefs care for 451 American infants resting place

Posted 5/11/2010   Updated 5/11/2010 Email story   Print story

    


by Tech. Sgt. Michael Voss
86th Airlift Wing Public Affairs


5/11/2010 - KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- Members of the Ramstein Area Chief's Group volunteered time May 8 providing maintenance at the Kaiserslautern Kindergraves Memorial Cemetery in preparation for a yearly remembrance ceremony.

The cemetery here is the final resting place for 451 American infants, who died either at birth or shortly after, in Germany from 1952 through 1971.

"This just feels like the right thing to do," said Senior Master Sgt. Randy Sadler, 603rd Air Operations Center Air Mobility Division superintendent, when asked why he volunteered his off-time for the Kindergraves preparation. "Honoring the military children who didn't get to make that trip home to the U.S. just feels right."

Chief Master Sgt. Ed Rosemeier, 86th Medical Group superintendent, echoed those same sediments.

"I love coming out here and doing this," he said. "I have done this twice and plan to continue until I leave."

Originally maintained by the German-American Women's Club, the historic site provides a dignified and peaceful place for those children who were unable to return stateside.

In the mid 1980s, the club, facing site-lease challenges, asked local military officials for help. In 1986, the chief's group stepped in, acting as the sites entrusted agent.

Each spring following Mother's Day, volunteers from the base assist the Kindergrave Memorial chairperson, retired Master Sgt. Terence Delay, set up a memorial ceremony sponsored by the Kaiserslautern Kindergraves Memorial Foundation in cooperation with the Kaiserslautern Military Community and Kaiserslautern city officials.

For some, the site has become a place to invite the whole family to help, reminding them of past scarifies.

"We brought two of our daughters, Hanna, 11, and Rebecca, 21, to help," said Joanna McCormack spouse of Chief Master Sgt. Kent McCormack, 86th Dental Squadron superintendent. "I really hadn't heard of Kindergraves before this year, but my husband said 'Come on, we are going to clean something worthwhile.' It is such a great thing for not only the families of those lost but for our family to see as well."

The 2010 memorial ceremony begins at 10 a.m. May 15 at the U.S. Army Daenner Kaserne Chapel. For more information on attending or regarding the history of the Kaiserslautern Kindergraves Memorial Foundation, visit http://www.kaiserslautern-kindergraves.org/.



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