Remembering Our Veterans: Wreaths Across America
Sean Ryan, Chairperson of the Veteran Business Resource Group
Different organizations begin to arrive. Groups of Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, high school and college ROTC Cadets, sports teams and various youth clubs and sponsors. Those with official roles in the ceremony begin rehearsing their performances. Other volunteers set up tables, sound systems and chairs.
The quiet morning is soon disrupted by the low rumble of motorcycles, driven by veterans and other well-wishers who’ve braved the cold. A glance to the cemetery entrance soon reveals the flashing lights of police escorts, a coordinated effort across many jurisdictions. Eventually the trucks arrive. Their cargo consists of inanimate objects—the balsam tips from Maine fir trees crafted into wreaths. But their arrival has the feeling of a motorcade carrying dignitaries.
Soon participants begin to arrive. People who have chosen to spend the early morning hours of this day honoring those veterans who have slipped their earthly bonds. Many return every year with family and friends to mark the beginning of their holiday season. Others are first-timers who heard about the event and have come out to see what it’s all about. All seem excited, humbled and thankful. As the crowd gets larger, the dull roar begins to build in expectation.
We invite you to join us Saturday, Dec. 15, at Fayetteville National Cemetery, or another location close to you. You’ll be happy you did. You can find cemetery locations on the Wreaths Across America website, just search the ZIP code.
In Fayetteville, participants should park at Baum Stadium on the University of Arkansas campus and take shuttle buses to the cemetery. Parking is not available at the cemetery. The buses begin taking participants at 7 a.m. and the ceremony begins at 10 a.m.
Published December 10, 2018.
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