Kay Lantow and Linda Nicholson
On Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020, SaddleBrooke Ranch residents gathered at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson for the annual Wreaths Across America event. It was a beautiful and sunny morning for the volunteers to participate in honoring our veterans.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the beautiful ceremony which has taken place in previous years, did not occur in 2020. However, the lack of ceremony did not deter approximately 50 volunteers from across Tucson who embraced the opportunity to honor our veterans. Following the invocation, and pledge of allegiance a recording of “Taps” was played. Sheron Jones, president of the Tucson Chapter of the Gold Star Mothers, greeted the volunteers and spoke of the history of Wreaths Across America, the meaning behind the construction of the veteran’s wreath and the Gold Star Families. Laying before the podium were seven beautiful wreaths, adorned with flags representing the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Merchant Marines, Navy, and POW/MIA.
The volunteers then gathered in the veteran’s sections of the cemetery and placed wreaths on the veteran’s graves, taking a moment at each grave to say the veteran’s name and a thank you for their sacrifice. The wreath count was down this year by close to 500 but when the wreaths had all been placed, the volunteers continued to visit graves and say thank you. Volunteers also had the opportunity to visit the beautiful monument to the Gold Star Families. Sheron Jones has worked tirelessly for the last eight years to raise funds for the completion of the monument. It was dedicated in a ceremony on March 2, 2019.
SaddleBrooke Ranch residents contributed towards the purchase of over 900 wreaths for the event this year. This was the seventh annual effort by our community in support of the event and the Tucson Gold Star Mothers. Through the patriotism and generosity of our residents, $2,150 was raised this year.
Kay and Linda want to thank our residents who donated towards the purchase of wreaths and our participating volunteers; Alan and Rebecca Call, Ed Kupcis, Linda Inhelder, Kathy and Jerry Meyer, Lois and Rich LaMontagne, Chuck Robbins, and Chuck and Diane Thomas.
To learn more about Wreaths Across America, visit their website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.