Families of veterans who go visit their graves for Christmas may see a wreath there. Volunteers worked hard over the weekend to place a wreath on the graves of veterans in 55 locations around Utah as part of Wreaths Across America.
“We are so thankful they continue to preserve our freedoms and protect our nation. It’s a wonderful way at Christmas time to thank them and their personal sacrifice to keep us free. It just makes me emotional talking about it,” said St George-area organizer Valerie King, who is chapter regent for Color Country Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
King says they normally would have a big ceremony, but the pandemic cut into those plans.
“I shed a few tears when I heard the cancellation. But then I thought, what is this all about, it’s about remembering and honoring. So come up with different ways, and we did,” she said.
Some organizers in Utah put the effort on YouTube or Facebook.
In the city of Highland, students from American Heritage School raised funds to purchase the materials and then make the wreaths themselves. When each wreath was placed at Highland Cemetery, the veteran’s name was said aloud, and the veteran was thanked for their service.
In Provo, the Wasatch Range DAR joined active military and first responders, Boy Scouts, Mayor Michelle Kaufusi and others to lay wreaths at the Provo Cemetery.
“It was a wonderful time to REMEMBER, HONOR & TEACH all about the blessings of living in our great, free nation!” they wrote on Facebook.
In St George, King said their efforts have grown, as more people take up the cause. One 90-year-old veteran also made it his mission to help get wreaths on every grave. King believes they had close to 4,300 wreaths on graves in Iron County and Washington County.
“The message is getting out on the mission, to remember the fallen, honor those who have served, and teach children the value of freedom,” said King.
The governor declared Saturday to be “Wreaths Across America” day in Utah.
The official organization, “Wreaths Across America,” says they placed 1.7 million wreaths at 25-hundred locations across the US on Saturday.
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