Wreaths Across America Honor Local Veterans Saturday, Dec. 18th at Area Cemeteries
Mine au Breton Historical Society and the local area Scouts remembered past Veterans on Saturday, Dec. 18th, 2021 with ceremonies and wreaths at at area cemeteries.
The Mine au Breton Historical Society hosted its first wreath laying project on Saturday morning at the pre-determined time of 11 a.m. with several volunteers on hand to put out over 150 balsam ‘Wreaths Across America’ wreaths on Veteran graves at the New Masonic Cemetery on Jefferson Street in Potosi.
Local Scouts, lead by Denny Allen, visited Bates Creek Cemetery, High Point Cemetery, Hopewell Cemetery, St. Joachim Cemetery, Calvary Cemetery and the resting place of the Unknown Soldier from the Civil War at Palmer.
The mission of Wreaths Across America is simple - Remember, Honor, Teach.
This year, the ceremony, held simultaneously across the country at more than 2100 participating locations, was on Saturday, Dec. 18th, 2021.
As each wreath was laid upon the Veteran’s grave, his or her name was said aloud, emphasizing remember and honor.
Historical Society President Jerry Sansegraw read the following:
“Ladies and Gentlemen please join with me in a moment of silence to remember the fallen, the prisoners of war, the missing in action and honor those who have served and are serving this great nation’s armed services.
Thank you all for joining us here today. Right now, across the country at more than 2,100 memorial sites like this one we are gathered as one nation to Remember, Honor and Teach. We are all proud to be Americans that live in a free society made up of many people, from many walks of life. The freedoms we enjoy today have not come without a price. Lying here before us and in cemeteries throughout this nation are men and women who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom and without fear. We can worship as we see fit. We can raise our children to believe as we do. We can travel from one end of this great nation to the other and not have to ask permission to go. We are free to vote for whomever we feel should be in government office, with no explanation needed. We have the right to succeed and we have the right to fail at whatever endeavor we wish to pursue.
The United States of America was founded on the ideals of Freedom, Justice and Equality. Our Nation stands as a shining beacon of liberty and freedom to the world. We thank those who gave their lives to keep us free and we shall not forget you. We shall remember.
Today, many of you here, are Veterans of wars and conflicts that America has had to fight to protect the innocent and oppressed. This nation has always been the first to stand up for the freedom of people from around the world. Many of you here today have answered that call and served your country well. We are here today to say “Thank you” and we are honored to know you.
There are many men and women serving today in all branches of the military, here at home and in places far away that most of us have never heard of. These men and women are part of the best-trained, best-equipped force in the world. We honor them and their families for the sacrifices they make each day to keep our country safe from terrorism, hatred and injustice.
Quoting our 40th United States President Ronald Reagan, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Today, we show a united front of gratitude and respect across the United States of America as we REMEMBER the Fallen, HONOR those who serve and TEACH our children the value of freedom.
Now Veteran Jeff Higginbotham will lay a remembrance wreath in honor of the 93,129 United States Servicemen from all branches of the service who last know status was either Prisoners of War or Missing in Action. These individuals have never returned to their families and homes. We shall not forget you.
We encourage every volunteer here today who places a wreath on a Veteran’s grave to say that Veteran’s name aloud and take a moment to thank them for their service to our country. It’s a small act that goes a long way toward keeping the memory of our Veterans alive.
Remember, we are not here today to “decorate graves.” We are here to remember not their deaths, but their lives. Each wreath is a gift of appreciation, from a grateful America.
These live balsam wreaths symbolize our honor to those who have served and are serving in the armed forces of our great nation and to their families who endure sacrifices everyday on our behalf. To our children, we want you to understand the freedoms you enjoy today have not been free but have come with a cost that someday, you may have to pay yourself.
As a nation standing together, we can defeat terrorism, hatred and injustice. Thanks to our Veterans, we have the freedom to do just that.
Thank you for coming and participating today. God Bless America.”
The program lasted about fifteen minutes on the mild morning and the groups dispersed to place the wreaths around the cemetery and reflect on each Veteran honored that moment.
The Historical Society and the Scouts will do this program again in eleven short months. Watch for details on how to participate, help provide wreaths and honor our Veterans.
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