Many of our Wounded Warriors attended and participated the Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Newton, Mississippi Veterans Cemetery on December 13, 2014.
"Remember, Honor, and Teach." That's the motto of Wreaths Across America, an annual event where veterans and families pause to honor the servicemen and women who have died. The ceremony is held nationwide at noon eastern time, in coordination with the laying of the wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington Cemetery. Here locally, the event was held at the Newton Veterans Cemetery.
"You've got Memorial Day and of course you have Veterans Day," Retired Army Colonel Dennis Smith said. "Memorial Day is of course in May and it's to honor the people who died in service of their country. This is just a special day to recognize all branches of the service, members who are buried in this magnificent cemetery."
The service is not only a special one, but it allows each person to remember the fallen, honor the veterans, and teach the next generation the true dedication and sacrifice of each of those brave men and women.
"When you look at the names and the service that they did, it just brings a lot of thought to your mind," American Legion Rider Lee Barnes stated. "Especially those who are vets, combat vets, or military service."
The ceremony concluded with each headstone at the cemetery displaying a wreath that had been laid in front of it by a family, a friend, or just someone who was thankful for all that they had done.
"I can see them, I picture them as I'm laying the wreath to them," Past Director of the Military Order of the Purple Heart said. "I picture what they were like. The two over here I worked with and I can remember things about them, good things, you know funny things, a lot of things."
One by one, each headstone received a wreath, each headstone received a moment of silence from the ones who placed the wreaths, and each headstone serves a purpose to remember, honor, and teach.
The ceremony also included a special recognition to Staff Sergeant Milton McMullen. He was the last known Mississippian to have been a prisoner of war in Japan. He died December 1, 2014, at the age of 93 at the VA Medical Center in Jackson.