The Putnam Examiner

Wreaths Across America Ceremony Honors Vets

We are part of The Trust Project

The holiday season is a time for Americans to place wreaths all over from homes and businesses to stores and the front of cars.

People across the nation had other locations in mind when they place wreaths in cemeteries at the headstones of military veterans last Saturday.

Locally, the Putnam County Civil Air Patrol conducted a Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Raymond Hill Cemetery in Carmel. Veterans, their family members and friends and military cadets took part in the ceremony meant to remember and honor fallen heroes.

More than 2 million volunteers were expected to participate in Wreaths Across America throughout the United States. The annual event honors veterans and advances the Wreaths Across America mission to “Remember, Honor and Teach,” ensuring the memory of those who served.

Major Elena MacDermant, squadron commander of the Putnam County Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, moderated the Carmel program. MacDermant quoted President Ronald Reagan when describing the importance of the service.

“He said freedom is not free,” MacDermant said. “Everything that we have we owe to a veteran today, particularly those from the Revolutionary War who put down their farming equipment, closed their shops and took up arms against one of the biggest, well prepared armies in the entire world at the time. So that must have been daunting for them but they did it because they had a belief that we had rights and freedoms that King George was stomping on.”

Two Revolutionary War veterans are buried at Raymond Hill Cemetery, MacDermant noted. Volunteers placed wreaths on headstones throughout Raymond Hill Cemetery. Medallions on the headstones indicated which grave had a military veteran.

MacDermant instructed the volunteers:

“When you place the wreath take a step back and say thank you for your service and the name because if you say the name the name will never be forgotten. And if you’re military, give them a salute for their service.”

We'd love for you to support our work by joining as a free, partial access subscriber, or by registering as a full access member. Members get full access to all of our content, and receive a variety of bonus perks like free show tickets. Learn more here.