Remembering the Fallen

SAN ANGELO, Texas --

Every year since 1992, Wreaths Across America makes its way state-to-state, cemetery-to-cemetery with the intention to glorify and honor the fallen veterans that make up our past. Communities across the nation call upon WAA to bring wreaths for every fallen veteran.

For San Angelo, this event took place at the Belvedere Cemetery Dec. 12. Civilians, veteran’s and Goodfellow Air Force Base members alike came out to volunteer their time to lay out the wreaths.

Dana Gray, San Angelo Composite Squadron Civil Air Patrol commander, started the ceremony with opening remarks. Her words were heavy with emotion as she spoke about the fallen service members.

“Thanks to our veterans, we enjoy our freedom,” said Gray.

She comes from a line of military members and coordinates the local WAA to recognize her military ancestry.

The placing of wreaths on veterans' graves began in 1992.

According to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org, Morrill Worcester, Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington owner, used the company's surplus of wreaths in 1992 to honor the nation's veterans by placing wreaths on the headstones in one of the older sections of Arlington, receiving fewer visitors each year. In 2005, a photo of the wreaths at Arlington hit the internet and thousands of requests poured in from people who wanted to help and copy the Arlington project at national and state cemeteries.

“It’s very important that we recognize and honor those that make the sacrifice,” said Dwain Morrison, San Angelo Mayor. “It’s a very important day.”

Onlookers were silent during Dana Gray’s speech as her words resonated in their hearts. After her speech, participants thanked her and went on to lay wreaths on the graves.

Content in this article was contributed from Staff Sgt. Laura R. McFarlane and Senior Airman Scott H. Jackson.