Honoring Veterans Past and Present

December 16, 2010

New Laws Effective January 1, 2011During the holiday season many of us think about our country’s service men and women stationed away from their homes and families. Just as these brave individuals give up their own freedoms day after day to ensure ours, recognizing our veterans is something that should be done year round.

Last week I had the privilege of being a part of a ceremony to commemorate Simsbury’s veterans. The event, hosted by Wreaths Across America, was held Saturday December 11th at the Simsbury Cemetery located on Plank Hill Road. As a means of paying tribute to our veterans throughout the holidays, Wreaths Across America works with communities around the country to hold ceremonies where wreaths are placed at cemeteries and monuments.

Wreaths Across America began with a man named Morrill Worcester and the Worcester Wreath Company located in Maine. As a young boy, Worcester visited Arlington National Cemetery and became inspired by our country’s veterans along with the sacrifices they make. Later, as an adult and owner of the Worcester Wreath Company, Worcester was able to make his boyhood dream a reality by sending holiday wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery. Worcester’s generosity left an impression on many Americans giving him cause to expand his donations. With the help of political leaders, veterans and citizens around our nation, Wreaths Across America was officially formed. Today, 19 years later, this nonprofit group is able to present wreaths to participating state and national cemeteries along with many local town cemeteries and monuments. Wreaths will also be provided for 24 offshore cemeteries, including Normandy Beach, and a large Veteran’s commemorative wreath will also be sent to each state’s State House.

At the December 11th ceremony, I had the opportunity to give a speech about the importance of our veterans and also discuss their significance in our community. It is these veterans who give their lives to protect all the liberties we know and cherish as American citizens. Their continued commitment to the people of the United Sates is what makes our country so great.

Thanks to all the hard work by the Abigail Phelps Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Wreaths Across America Ceremony received overwhelming support and was truly a special event. This year, 96 wreaths labeled with local veterans names, were placed in the Simsbury Cemetery. The town’s boy and girl scouts helped lay these wreaths on the graves of fallen soldiers. Also displayed in a half circle around a flagpole, were wreaths symbolizing the honor and pride Simsbury holds for all our veterans.

Uniformed veterans, the Simsbury Veterans Color Guard, the Simsbury Police Department, the American Legion Post 84, the Veterans of Foreign War Post 1926, local officials, families and individuals all gathered together in remembrance of Simsbury’s Revolutionary War heroes to those serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I am honored to have been a part of this great ceremony and welcome all opportunities to commemorate all those that protect and serve our nation.

For more information on the program or to honor a Veteran, visit us on the web at: www.wreathsacrossamerica.org