This is my second year participating in Wreaths Across America. Here in Nebraska our Omaha National Cemetery is fairly new, with the dedication ceremony in August of 2016. According to their site “The new 236-acre cemetery in Sarpy County, Nebraska will serve the burial needs of more than 112,000 Veterans in the cemetery’s service area for the next 100 years.”
Last year the temperatures were below zero with a wind chill at -20 degrees or so. It goes without saying this year was much better weather. Temperatures today were in the mid 40s or so. The sun was shining and the best part is the sunny weather brought out more people to honor our fallen.
Last year there were approximately a hundred or less of us huddled in a tent at the top of the hill, listening to speeches and prayers spoken about our men and women who fought and died for our freedoms. Today there were several hundred in attendance and shuttle busses were used to bring people from Warner Park up to the cemetery site.
Its always a treat to see the color guard, the old timers decked out in their regalia, and the veteran bikers who help with the flags and other duties of the day. Their love of country is something we should all soak in and emulate daily. This great nation of ours could use some strong patriotism. Days like today make me think when needed we can all set aside differences and care for this great nation of ours.
As each wreath is laid at the grave the volunteer is asked to say the name of the soldier and take moment to thank them for their service to our country.
A person dies twice: once when they take their final breath, and later, the last time their name is spoken.
We are not here to “decorate graves.” We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives.
—Karen Worcester, Executive Director of Wreaths Across America
Next year think about taking part in a ceremony near you. This event happens nationwide at all national cemeteries on the same day. It is our honor to say thank you and remember the fallen. Take a moment to thank the families who support them and live on the tell their stories. You can find Wreaths Across America on Facebook and learn more about volunteering or donating to this great cause. Take a moment to say thank you for your freedoms.
“Remember the fallen;
Honor those that serve;
Teach our children the value of freedom”