The chill in the air didn’t deter the Pocahontas County Veterans Honor Corps from honoring the fallen servicemen and women of Pocahontas County during the annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony December 19.
During the holiday season, more than 2.2 million wreaths are placed at cemeteries throughout the nation to honor the sacrifice made by each man and woman who served in the U.S. armed forces.
Honor Corps Commander Rick Wooddell shared remarks from the Wreaths Across America organization before wreaths were placed around the flagpole.
“This Year the WAA organization announced that the theme for 2020 is ‘Be an American Worth Fighting For,’” Woodell said. “The inspiration for this year’s theme came from a keynote address made by Staff Sgt. Daniel Strong during the 2018 escort to Arlington at a welcome stop at Montachusett Regional Vocational Technical School (Monty Tech) located in Fitchburg, Massachuetts. As an infantryman in the United States Marine Corps, he lost eighteen Marines during his service – three were his friends when he was a Lance Corporal, six as their Squad Leader and the remaining nine as their Platoon Sergeant. Each impacted SSgt. Strong in a unique way as he witnessed first-hand what true sacrifice was and experienced the ripple effect it has on all involved.
“His message that December day spoke to the daily importance of the mission to Remember, Honor and Teach, and the emotion is now teacher-engrained in his JROTC students,” Woodell continued. “‘Be an American worth the sacrifice. In your daily operations, and in how you deal with one another and how you live your lives,’ said SSgt. Strong. ‘Those young men and women who are in Arlington National Cemetery and other cemeteries, they earned the right for you to be an American worth fighting for.’
“Today, we show a united front of national unity across the United States of America as we remember the Fallen. Let us honor those who remember, serve and teach our children the value of freedom.”