At Rest, At Last
Sgt. Rufus Ketchum Buried in Calvary Cemetery
Superior, WI- The bugle plays, mourning for this long overdue military funeral.
Sergeant Rufus Lloyd Ketchum, being laid to rest 68 years after his death. Full military honors for this army veteran, surrounded by a crowd, who’s size is a testament to the sacrifice he made.
‘I’ve seen military funerals before, but never one of this magnitude,” said Sgt. Jeremy Walworth, Casualty Assistance Officer. He’s been helping behind-the-scenes with Ketchum’s affairs. “I mean this guy’s been gone for 68 years, so it was really special.”
Ketchum’s remains were recovered back in 2001 during a U.S. and Korean People’s Army joint operation in North Korea. That effort found remains of at least seven soldiers, all later sent to a lab for identification.
It was there, thanks to DNA analysis, that Ketchum’s legacy was brought to light.
Sgt. Ketchum was killed in action at the age of 38 during the Battle of Chosin. The fight was a decisive battle of the Korean War in 1950. Veterans here say thousands of soldiers’ bodies are still yet to be discovered there.
Back at Calvary Cemetery, Ketchum’s funeral is serving another purpose too. Allowing military parents the chance to show their children all sides of war. That is why Veteran Jeff Loeffler and his wife Stefanie brought their son, Wesley and their nephew, James.
“To teach the kids the importance of respect,” said Mr. Loeffler.
“Express gratitude and thanks for their service and ultimate sacrifice,” said Mrs. Loeffler.
“To show them that some…don’t come home to their children, or parents.”
Mary Jo Edge knows that lesson all too well. She is Sgt. Ketchum’s Daughter, and was only a year old when he was killed.
Now, at age 69, family at her side, she says goodbye.
“See…I’m always lost for words,” said Edge. “But it’s overwhelming, the support that we’ve had. From our friends, our family, everybody. I have family from Texas, they’re my dad’s nephew and great niece.”
A long trip, but one they were dedicated to, to pay tribute to this fallen hero who dedicated everything.