Wreaths Across America

Roman Martin

The winter visitor season is upon us, and our Chamber of Commerce weather has returned to remind us that it is time to Remember, Honor and Teach. Yes, we are remembering our 2,740 veterans who have died and are interred at Valley of the Sun Cemetery on Chandler Heights Road. All of these persons signed the same blank check payable to the U.S. Government. They served this country and some, because of their job, never were in harm’s way, but they served where needed in this country’s wars and police actions (Korean War) and periods of peace.

It is our duty to Remember and Honor their service by placing a fresh balsam wreath on their gravesite. We do this by speaking their name out loud before placing the wreath. And we Teach the younger generations about the sacrifice and service that they have performed and the value of the Freedoms we experience.

The time to sponsor a wreath this year has passed, but there is still time to come out to Valley of the Sun Cemetery and assist volunteers from The Chandler Elks Lodge, The Exchange Club of Chandler, Gilbert Sea Cadets, and PayPal employees. We meet  Dec. 14 at 9 a.m. at the east end of the cemetery in the veteran’s section. If you have a loved one in the cemetery, you can place the wreath personally, even if they are interred in another section of the cemetery.

After the completion of the wreath laying, we have a memorial service in which we Remember, Honor and Teach all of the uniformed services. We place a wreath this year for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, Public Health Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The memorial ceremony will begin at 10 a.m., and our guest speaker this year is Jack Holder, a Sun Lakes resident, author, and Pearl Harbor survivor.

We would like to thank all of our readers for their sponsorships and honor shown to the veterans interred at Valley of the Sun Cemetery and the efforts and donations of time and money to honor our veterans. It has been an honor for Nancy Espy and me to serve and remember those we honor on December 14.

By going to the website https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/ you can follow the events across the U.S. and donate to their charitable efforts Just a reminder, all donations are tax deductible.