By Airman 1st Class Haley N. Blevins, 460th Space Wing Public Affairs
BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --Over 200 volunteers attended the Wreaths Across America event at Fairmount Cemetery in Denver on Dec. 14, 2019.
WAA is an annual wreath-laying event which honors deceased veterans across the nation. The event is held at approximately 1,600 different locations in all 50 states.
Volunteers from the local community and military bases came together to lay wreaths on the graves of approximately 6,000 fallen veterans to honor their service.
The mission of the event is to remember the fallen U.S. veterans, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom.*
The event began in a chapel at the cemetery with the posting of the colors by the Mile High Honor Guard, followed by the posting of the wreaths by cadets from the Civil Air Patrol Mile High Squadron 143. Each wreath on display represented a certain branch of the U.S. military.
The event also featured a speech by Col. Devin Pepper, 460th Space Wing commander, where he highlighted the importance of having so many young people in attendance.
“I think it’s important to see so many young faces here,” said Pepper. “This is the future of our military and the future of our nation.”
The wreath-laying event began shortly after the ceremony in the chapel.
The fallen service members were remembered by reading the words aloud that are on the tombstone before placing a wreath in front of it.
“Events like this help to remember and honor fallen service members by keeping them involved,” said Airman 1st Class Tiffany Rios, Mile High Honor Guard ceremonial guardsman. “It wasn’t just certain ranks or certain people that were given wreaths. It was every single fallen service member in that cemetery.”
Children were also taught the importance of the event and value of freedom.
“I saw children with wreaths in their hands and thought how amazing it was that they were able to participate too, despite being generations behind those who are buried,” said Rios.
There are many volunteer opportunities for the WAA event. People can volunteer to place wreaths, coordinate a new location, lead a fundraising group, offer corporate support and donate trucking services.
If you are interested in volunteering next year, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org.