TAYLOR COUNTY—Pride and respect for the nation’s veterans are two values the community seems to hold dear, and numerous individuals worked Saturday to decorate the graves of the brave souls who were laid to rest at both the Grafton National Cemetery and the West Virginia National Cemetery.
Each year, in celebrations across the United States, volunteers come together to pay respect to the men and women who fought and died for the freedom’s Americans have today.
Wreaths Across America is in its 26th year, working to ensure that the graves of the nation’s veterans are decorated during the holiday season. On Saturday, celebrations were held at the West Virginia National Cemetery, located in Pruntytown, as well as the Grafton National Cemetery, located on Walnut Street.
This is the first year that wreaths were placed at the Grafton National Cemetery. The West Virginia Patriot Guard received approval to host the grave-marking ceremony earlier this year.
“The purpose is to honor, teach and respect what we have,” said Buddy Meyers, Chairman of the West Virginia Patriot Guard Board.
During the ceremonies, members from various branches of military placed wreaths honoring and remembering their fallen brothers and sisters. After placing the ceremonial wreath, service members saluted the memory of their comrades.
Following the conclusion of the programs, volunteers and groups took time to place wreaths on the graves of the fallen. As wreaths were placed, the veteran’s name was read aloud and they were personally thanked for their service.
Wreaths were also placed for Merchant Marines, as well as Prisoners of War and those still Missing in Action.
Workers from Bartlett Funeral Home took part in the ceremony on Walnut Street.
“We had the privilege of helping to place Christmas wreaths on the graves at the Grafton National Cemetery,” shared Nancy Bartlett. “We were honored to take part in honoring our military. Their service is why we have the freedoms we do.”
Jeremy Mayle echoed Bartlett’s sentiments stating, “We had an awesome day helping place the Christmas wreaths on the graves at the Veteran’s cemetery, and it was quite an honor to be able to help. God-bless all of those who have fought and died for us.”
Wreaths Across America is a nationwide holiday wreath-laying ceremony that honors and remembers the nation’s veterans. Although the Wreaths Across America program is long standing, in 2006 The Worcester Wreath Company began donating wreaths in tribute to veterans laid to rest at VA’s national cemeteries and state veterans’ cemeteries, in conjunction with the program.
For more information about Wreaths Across America, or to purchase a wreath in honor of your loved one who served in the country’s military, please visit the program’s website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.