Community honors veterans with wreath ceremony
December 20, 2012
ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. (Dec. 2012, 2012) -- For the second year in a row, the Fort McClellan Cemetery Wreaths Committee memorialized the veterans interred at McClellan, Ala., with a holiday wreath ceremony, Dec. 15.
Wreaths Across America, a national event, began in 1992 when the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine sent their extra wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery, Va. Since that time, the company has partnered with groups throughout the U.S. This year, events were held at more than 800 locations, including 30 overseas cemeteries.
Retired Maj. Gen. Gerald Watson, a former commander of Fort McClellan, spearheaded the wreath-laying event. As he thanked everyone for participating, he remarked on his and the committee's goal to include young people in the event.
Standing ready to place a wreath on each of the graves were seven Boy Scout troops, six Girl Scout troops, the 4H Green Team and the Young Marines.
Depot Commander Col. Brent Bolander spoke to the large crowd gathered at McClellan for this year's event, thanking them for their support for Soldiers.
"Today, we are surrounded not only by the great heroes who have passed before us, but also those who have served, those who are serving, those who will serve and the families who support them, which is arguably the most difficult mission of all," said Bolander.
He reminded the gathering that each of the 355 headstones represent a family's history, an individual's story and a Veteran's selfless service to their country.
Since the closing of Fort McClellan in 1999, the depot has performed maintenance duties for the post and POW cemeteries on McClellan.