DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA)- The Honor Guard is a group of volunteer veterans that perform military rites at veterans funerals. Danville lost one of their former members, and he was honored today at the Danville National Cemetery. Bernie Lewallen died on April 9th at the age of 95.
Due to Covid-19 the family was only able to gather nine people during his burial. His son Steve Lewallen said this allowed them to honor his life properly and hopes to continue his legacy. “A good dad a good husband and just a good family man and in these days we need family, so I hope to carry that myself, carry those traits on”
Bernie served in the U.S. Navy, then later joined the American Legion and Honor Guard. Throughout his time on the Honor Guard, he made friends he would have for a lifetime. Honor Guard member Gerry Arnholt reminisced on the times they shared. “We took a trip to see the cardinals and cubs the play one time a bunch of us and Bernie had a great time he was about 91 at the time.”
Something that might not have meant much to someone but meant a lot to Bernie was ketchup.
“I’ll never forget one of the passions he had was ketchup,” said Arnholt. “You know we use to get these little packets, and they were never enough so Bernie said why can’t we have bottles on the table and the next day there was a bottle of ketchup on every table.”
Fellow member Ralph Reed said he had a kind heart and was always looking out for someone he could help. “One of the fellas had some medical problems, so Bernie and I went and mowed his grass and all that stuff that’s just the way we were.” If you want to donate tot he Honor Guard, you can go here.