Wreaths Across America ceremony held at Craig Cemetery | CraigDailyPress.com

Wreaths Across America ceremony held at Craig Cemetery

Michelle Gonzalez / For Craig Press

The Wreaths Across America Ceremony was performed at the Craig (Fairview) Cemetery on December 14, 2019 at 10:00 am.

The ceremony began with a minute of silence to remember the fallen, the prisoners of war, the missing in action and honor those what have served and are serving this great nation’s armed service.

The American Flag and POW/MIA Flag were posted by the Color Guard.
The ceremonial speech:

“We are gathered here today at this memorial site and memorial sites all across America to remember that we are one nation with one flag. We are all proud to be Americans that live in a free society made up of many people, many races, 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 and we answer to no one but our own feelings. 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. America has always been the first nation 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 that plague the world community. When you see a Veteran or an active duty member of the armed services, take a moment to say “thank you.” We owe them our way of life, and a moment of your time is well spent.

Quoting our 40th United States President Ronald Reagan. Quote “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 national unity all across the United States of America as we Remember the Fallen, Honor those who serve and Teach our children the value of freedom.

Al Shepherd placed a remembrance wreath in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Army.

Ron Eppin placed a remembrance wreath in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Marine Corps.

Brian Baxter and Michael Lausin placed a remembrance wreath in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Navy.

Doug Wellman placed a remembrance wreath in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Air force.

Mark Wick placed a remembrance wreath in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Coast Guard.

Johnny Garcia placed a remembrance wreath in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Merchant Marines.

Frank Sadvar placed a remembrance wreath in honor of the 81,900 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.

The wreaths represent our commitment as a United America to remember the fallen. We also want these remembrance wreaths to 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 every day 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.

We could quote for you the statistics of individuals buried around the country but all you would have is a bunch of numbers. We instead, ask you to take a moment and visit a gravesite. Write down the information on the person placed there and when you return home, research their name on the Internet and find out all you can about this person. You will find they were real Americans with families, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. They were and are more than just a statistic.

We then moved the ceremony to the East side area where we laid the seven wreaths as well. Once the wreaths were in place, the colors were retired and attendees were recognized.

For those who sponsored a grave specific wreath they were then given the opportunity to place those wreaths.

For the rest of the wreaths that were sponsored, they were placed at the end of each row of Veterans grave sites on both sides of the cemetery. There were also a few wreaths that were placed in the Civil War Veterans are of the cemetery.

There were a total of 45 wreaths placed throughout the two dedicated Veterans Memorial plots this year.

We would like to thank the following groups for their participation:
-Craig Elks Lodge #1577
-American Legion Post 62
-VFW Craig 4265
-The Craig Daily Press for publishing the event prior to the ceremony
-Wreaths Across America for providing the wreaths
-The volunteers who helped make this possible
-Special thanks to Annette Dunkley for signing up to volunteer and for taking pictures, Frank and Doris Sadvar for assisting in the set up of the wreaths, and prepping the area and Michelle Gonzalez (Shelly Sadvar) for coordinating this project.

For anyone interested in helping to pickup and dispose of the wreaths, we are planning this for January 4th @ 1:00 pm. Please call the Craig Elks Lodge at 970-824-3557 for more information on the pick-up date.

There are more than 750 Veterans buried in the Craig Cemetery, next year our goal is to have a wreath on every grave site of these Veterans.

For more information on how you can participate in the Craig WAA in 2020 please visit: https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/159272/Overview/?relatedId=0

If you have any questions, please click on the telephone icon on this page and fill in the information. You will be contacted by the Craig Location Coordinator.

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