44K fearless weather to lay wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

  • 44K fearless weather to lay wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

44K fearless weather to lay wreaths at Arlington Cemetery

Events at Arlington began with the arrival of a mile-long convoy of ceremonial vehicles, including tractor-trailers, buses, and cars carrying wreaths, veterans, Gold Star Families and supporters. She said the crowd was smaller than in previous years, but she knew numerous volunteers would come to pay their respects - weather or not. She, too, laid wreaths on veterans' graves. "We're here to remember not their deaths, but their lives".

Graf, who kept this year's ceremony especially short, said that when Missoula's Civil Air Patrol branch first joined in Wreaths Across America in 2008, the branch used about 100 wreaths. "We want to continue doing this ceremony each year to honor our veterans".

As participants place each wreath, they say the soldier's name out loud. With this observance, we are showing eternal thanks of a grateful nation to the veterans that have defended our American way of life.

Mulford, who served as an infantryman in Iraq in 2005-07, said he was impressed with turnout for Saturday's ceremony. It was all part of a remembrance for local veterans.

"We have to put some on the Buffalo Soldiers' graves first thing", Armstrong yelled to a cadet, referring to a term once used for black soldiers, before getting into her vehicle. I'm just honored to know that I'm protected by people who are willing to sacrifice for us.

"We were a little nervous about the weather and the roads this morning, but I'm so glad we came today", Darcie Bowers said. She asked that everyone keep active duty military members and veterans alike in their prayers through the holidays.

In all, 902 wreaths were placed on the individual graves and monuments at the site, including around the base of the obelisk which marks the mass grave were 2,500 Confederate soldiers were buried during the Civil War.

The Wreaths Across America slogan is "Remember our fallen U.S. Veterans; Honor those who serve; and Teach your children the value of freedom".

An opening ceremony is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the cemetery's McClellan gate.