In early December, I had the opportunity to be at the Wreaths Across America event with the cameras. Our local event was held at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery and was coordinated by some terrific people. It was a cold, cold day and there had been snow the day before, but it didn’t last long enough to decorate the grounds with its sparkle.
(warning: this post has a TON of images!)
Close to 2,000 wreaths were sponsored by individuals and groups this year, which is a terrific number! I was told that was many, many more than last year. Many more people showed up for the ceremony and wreath-placing, too! It was a really neat thing to watch and I guess the event held special meaning to me because my grandfather is interred at the Gap. The coordinators were even able to arrange a fly over of three World War II-era planes…that was so cool!
The number of kids at the service was not only astounding to me, but really, really neat, too! There were Boy Scout groups, Civil Air Patrol groups and many others…all of whom showed nothing but respect…it was just cool!
The Sons of the Revolution were represented, as was each branch of the military and several veteran’s groups, too! For those who know how big the memorial is, there wasn’t a lot of extra room!
Afterwards, EVERYONE was invited to head to the cemetery to help lay the wreaths. The whole process didn’t take long, and the Leathernecks (the group who was kind enough to unload and transport the wreaths locally) had things really well organized.
Folks from ALL walks of life came to honor our veterans. What a far cry from the stories I’ve been told of times when it was almost a disgrace to have been a part of the military.
Next year’s event is already scheduled for December 10, 2011. Hope you’ll be there!
You’re welcome to visit the gallery of shots, located HERE (click).