[caption id="attachment_84547" align="aligncenter" width="600"]<img src="https:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2021\/12\/Wreaths.jpg" alt="" width="600" height="400" class="size-full wp-image-84547" \/> Last Saturday, the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps participated in the Wreaths Across America event by placing eight commemorative wreaths at the flagpole at the Arbovale Cemetery. Above, Tommy VanReenan places the United States Air Force wreath as Steve Fierbaugh and Sam Arbogast stand at attention. S. Stewart photo[\/caption]\r\n\r\nSuzanne Stewart\r\nStaff Writer\r\n\r\nAcross the country, more than 2.5 million wreaths were placed on the graves of servicemen and women at 2,700 cemeteries during the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony December 18. More than 260,000 of those wreaths were at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.\r\n\r\nIn its eighth year of participating in the ceremony, the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps placed eight wreaths at Arbovale Cemetery. The wreaths were to honor members of each branch of the military and POW\/MIA.\r\n\r\nThe cornerstone of Wreaths Across America is to Remember, Honor and Teach. In his presentation during the ceremony, Honor Corps Commander Rick Wooddell spoke on those three principles.\r\n\r\n\u201cToday, we show a united front of gratitude and respect across the United States of America as we remember the fallen, honor those who serve and their families, and teach the next generation the value of freedom,\u201d he said.\u00a0\r\n\r\n\u201cWe are all proud to be Americans that live in a free society made up of many people, from many walks of life. The freedoms we enjoy today have not come without a price. Lying here before us and in cemeteries throughout this nation are men and women who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom and without fear. We can worship as we see fit. We can raise our children to believe as we do. We are free to vote for leaders of our choosing. And, we have the ability to prosper and we have the right to fail at whatever endeavor we wish to pursue.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe wreaths are a way to honor the memories of those who have passed on, as well as their families. This year, included with the wreaths for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, National Guard, National Guard and POW\/ MIA, is a wreath for the U.S. Space Force.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe honor them and their families for the sacrifices they make each day to keep our country safe from terrorism, hatred and injustice,\u201d Wooddell said. \u201cThis year, we\u2019ve added an additional ceremonial wreath to honor the men and women currently serving in the U.S. Space Force along with those veterans who have served in roles helping to secure our national interests in space.\u201d\r\n\r\nAs Wooddell called their names, the following honor corps members placed the wreaths:\r\n\r\nArmy Specialist 4 Donnie Waybright \u2013\u00a0United States Army\r\n\r\nUnited States Navy 2nd Class Petty Officer Norris Long \u2013 United States Navy\r\n\r\nArmy Specialist Ben Lukacek \u2013\u00a0United States Marine Corps\r\n\r\nAir Force Sergeant Tommy VanReenan \u2013\u00a0United States Air Force\r\n\r\nAir Force A1C Steve Fierbaugh \u2013\u2002United States Space Force\r\n\r\nRetired Navy Chief Sam Arbogast \u2013 United States Coast Guard\r\n\r\nRetired Captain of the Merchant Marines George Fleck \u2013\u00a0United States Merchant Marines\r\n\r\nUnited States Marine Corps Sergeant Duke Fry \u2013\u00a0POW\/MIA in honor of the 93,129 United States servicemen and women from all branches of the services whose last known status was either Prisoner of War or Missing in Action.\r\n\r\n\u201cA reminder that the wreaths before you today represent our commitment as a United America to remember the fallen,\u201d Wooddell said in closing. \u201cWe also want these remembrance wreaths to symbolize our honor to those who have served and are serving in the armed forces of our great nation and to their families who endure sacrifices every day on our behalf.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe ceremony closed with a 21-gun salute.