Remembering our nation’s fallen heroes with holiday wreaths

Wreaths Across America

Remembering our nation’s fallen heroes with holiday wreaths

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The Civil Air Patrol along with a team of volunteers is participating in the nationwide event Wreaths Across America to ensure the fallen are not forgotten this holiday season.

Today at Llano Cemetery, there was no volunteer too young, nor too old to honor those who have served our country.

“We are putting wreaths on 369 grave sites of fallen veterans for Wreaths Across America,” said Rita Valdez, deputy cadet commander of the Civil Air Patrol.

Valdez said they raised around $5,500 to bring the holiday wreaths to the grave sites, doubling the amount of wreaths they distributed last year.

“There’s history behind everyone who’s laid to rest here,” she said. “Their families, their wars that they fought in, just the details of who they were.”

“We have Memorial Day, they have Veterans Day, but nobody remembers anybody at Christmas,” said Valdez.

She hopes the gesture teaches Amarillo’s youth to appreciate service men and women... and, it did.

“We’re volunteering by putting wreaths for the veterans that helped us in our lives to help keep our country free,” said Girl Scout Aurora Anacker from Troop 5754.

For such a young group, these girls seem wise beyond their years, learning a valuable lesson today.

(girl scouts: kaylana leinen)

“We are willing to show respect to all these men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country,” said Girl Scout Kaylana Leinen from Troop 5754. “It just helps people realize these veterans aren’t every day normal citizens.”

They’re not the only young people paying their respects.

“We need to come here and respect all the veterans and people that died and their families,” said Christian Raker, a cadet with the Civil Air Patrol.

The Civil Air Patrol believes their efforts will help grieving families over the holidays.

“The holidays are such a special time of the year and such an emotional time,” said Major Shawn Bowen with the Civil Air Patrol. “It’s about sacrifice, it’s not about commercialism and presents. It’s about relationships and things that are real. We’re hoping that people can make that connection with that by honoring the fallen who have done so much for this country.”

If you didn’t get to help lay wreaths today, you can honor fallen veterans during a ceremony tomorrow, December 15 at 11 a.m. at Llano Cemetary.

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