On Saturday, Dec. 15, members of the Daleville High School JROTC Warhawk Battalion took part in Wreaths Across America, honoring veterans who have passed with a wreath on their grave.
The JROTC students joined hundreds of others around the country in showing their appreciation. They placed over 200 wreaths on the graves of veterans at three cemeteries in Daleville.
The DHS JROTC Color Guard also provided services for formal Wreaths Across America ceremonies in Enterprise and Elba.
Wreaths Across America provide Christmas wreaths to be placed on the graves of more than 1,400 veterans here and abroad.
“From the Revolutionary War to present day conflicts, our veterans are devoted sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers,” the Wreaths Across America website states. “They come from all backgrounds in life to place those lives on the line for our freedoms.”
Wreaths are placed on veterans’ graves with a short ceremony, which includes saluting the grave of the veteran. This event typically occurs on National Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 15, though the organization’s “mission to remember, honor and teach is carried out throughout the year,” according to its website.
“Wreaths Across America’s mission touches the lives of thousands of school, scout, civic and religious groups across the country through fundraising for wreath sponsorships,” the website said. “These groups help us ensure that we reach our goal to place a wreath on each hero’s grave.”
The organization states that “service members sacrifice their time and safety” year round.
“In many homes, there is an empty seat for one who is serving or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,’ the website states. “There is no better time to express our appreciation than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.”
Daleville High School JROTC Senior Instructor Col. (ret) Teresa Townsend said the students enjoyed honoring those who have served their country.
"When a young person, especially a JROTC cadet, stands in front of a grave, says the veteran's name, and lays a wreath there, it honors that person's sacrifice for our country,” she said. “The cadets were very moved by the experience.”