In December every year, Wreaths Across America honors all our Fallen US Veterans in our National Cemeteries plus 1,400 other additional locations Across the United States, at sea and abroad. Their mission is: Remember Our Fallen US Veterans, Honor Those Who Serve and Teach Your Children the Value of Freedom. Thanks to Morrill Worcester and his wife, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company that started placing wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992. Yesterday in Wilmington’s National Cemetery people gathered to remember these Heroes and place a wreath on each grave.
In a ceremony before the laying of the wreaths, we were asked to say each veteran’s name out loud. This is to honor and say Thank You to these veterans for what they did for all of us and some paying the ultimate cost in the process. Lots of volunteers showed up yesterday to show their respect to all these people.
My Mother, Father, son and I attended this very special event along with some of my son’s Cross Country team. I had never heard of the event held here in Wilmington until a couple of weeks ago. Another parent from my sons Cross Country team asked if other runners would like to come and help. Wreaths Across America had over 5000 wreaths that had been donated to lay on the graves. This was a humbling experience knowing these men and women gave their lives for ours. To watch as so many people use such care in laying each wreath on those graves.
We watched as each arm of the military had a member lay a wreath while the name was read out loud. Then it was time for all rest of us to start. At first, many people were just laying the wreaths on the headstones that had names on them. Walking past the small stones with only a number etched on the top. Many did not realize these stones were the Unknown Heroes. Organization officials came around and gently let people know.
For some, yesterday’s event was emotional. They were veterans themselves and the reminder of how many of their fellow comrades that had lost their lives in the battle was hard for them. This was also a learning experience for children, to see a large number of people care a lot about the memory of these soldiers. These people’s lives mattered to the people that knew them and loved them. Their lives still matter today; the headstones are our reminder of the Fathers, Mothers, Sons, daughters, Aunts, Uncles and friends that protected us and those that still do.
These are some images my Father and I captured this event. For me, pictures speak louder than words ever will. Photography is my way of honoring the men and women. They are still teaching us even though they have passed on. I would like to Thank all veterans past and present. May the holidays be filled with peace and love.