Today I was a small part of honoring those who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice. A wreath was laid at Arlington National Cemetery at noon. Simultaneously, cemeteries across America participated in the same wreath laying ceremony. It was humbling. I was proud to be there.
Thanks to Wreaths Across America, people all over the country could be part of this important event. There’s something special about small town America. Seems to me that paying respect in my own back yard has far more meaning. Close to home and close to heart. It feels good.
Westford is the next town over and much like my small town of Groton, full of old homes and a pretty landscape. People smile and greet each other. Neighbors help neighbors. The cemetery is close to the center of town. For a small town it is a big cemetery, and full of the graves of veterans.
I did not know what to expect. First, the Girl Scout Chorus chorus sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” acapella. Beautiful! Then, the Cub Scouts said the Pledge of Allegiance. A member of each of the Armed Forces laid one of the wreaths. Sergeant Curran Huff, our classroom pen-pal last year, was one of the wreath layers. It was wonderful to watch him!
Have you ever heard TAPS played? It is beautiful and stirring to listen to the lone bugle. Each note seems to hang in the air. A fitting closing to an important event.
Volunteers stayed to place a wreath on every headstone of a veteran. Quite a lengthy and worthy task. Next year I will stay.
People often wait to honor members of our military, past and present, on Memorial Day and Veterans Day, and the Fourth of July. That’s like only giving thanks at Thanksgiving, or only spreading cheer at Christmastime. Saying thanks and remembering should happen all the time.
It did today.