Wreaths Across American thankful for support

Published 9:08 am Thursday, January 17, 2013

On behalf of myself and co-organizer Linda Dalton, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone including the businesses, the churches, the various organizations and the individuals who helped in any way towards the success of our laying of Remembrance Wreaths in the Veteran section of Woodland Cemetery on Dec. 15.

Those who participated in the ceremony and those who laid the wreaths and also those who purchased wreaths are deeply appreciated. There were many who worked behind the scenes to help two women who worried if we had undertaken a project that could not be accomplished.

We truly could not have succeeded without those who came to our rescue.

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There were those who went with us at 8:30 p.m. on a cold Thursday night to meet the eighteen wheeler truck which brought the wreaths in and also stayed to help us unload 34 boxes of wreaths.

The one who met the driver at Ohio University and led him to the cemetery.

The young lady who drove the box truck to the cemetery gates for us to store them as she was leaving to take her children to a Christmas play at the Paramount theater. Her work day was finished by the time the truck arrived.

She also came after she got back and moved the truck inside the gates and drove it to the top of the hill on Saturday morning to have it ready to be unpacked.

The one who was caught up in doing a lot of the work, even though he had no part in making the decision to try this endeavor. He made the hangers, did a lot of work on the side and agreed to speak for us.

The veterans organizations who choose to be there and honor those whom they represent. They were AMVETS post 141& 806 VFW 2761 and the American Legion Riders.

The person who did the sound system had just had heart surgery shortly before, but was right there to carry out his promise. The young man who was to play taps and ended up singing the National Anthem even though he didn’t know he would be asked to do it until he arrived. He didn’t even hesitate with his answer.

The men from my church, Resurrection Hope, who participate in the ceremony even though there was numerous other tasks they needed to do that particular day. Also the men who stood for and laid Remembrance Wreaths for the seven branches of the service.

A Vietnam veteran who purchased an extra wreath to be laid at Patriots point in remembrance of all those lost in that war. Sometimes remembering is still hard, even now, for those who served there.

As we all remember they were not greeted as heroes by many when they returned. The person who was a POW himself stood for those who were held captive and also for those who have not as of today been found or accounted for.

The young General who called me the night before. I had asked him several months before at a place of business down town. I had lost his number and assumed he had forgotten about the ceremony. He did not and was there in full dress uniform. He was not introduced as a General and for that we are very sorry and offer our apologies, but he was recognized as one and everyone who didn’t know him as a hometown boy wanted to know how we got him to come. My answer was the same. He came to “honor, respect, and teach.”

I would also like to thank one other person.

As all can remember one week after the wreaths were laid we had a terrible wind storm. The first thing I thought of was how many of the wreaths blew away. On Saturday morning I went up to the cemetery and several were down. None had blown away however.

As I was trying to lay them back up a young man who works there walked up to me and said,” I have to be out in this cold anyway. If you will wait until I get the trash picked up I will come back and do all of this for you. I think the cemetery is beautiful.”

For all who have not been up to see how beautiful it looks please try to go soon. The wreaths will be removed on Saturday. We will gather at noon to remove and dispose of them.

If you have a veteran there or if you would just like to participate next year, the account at Ohio river bank will remain open and you can make your checks payable to Wreaths Across America and this will cover the purchase of wreaths next year.

Our hope is to place a remembrance wreath on every grave in the veterans section in December 2013. Again, thank you to everyone.

Juanita Southers