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Wreaths Across America makes sure fallen veterans are not forgotten during the holidays

The Eagle Point National Cemetery is just one of 1,600 cemeteries across the country covered in wreaths for Wreaths Across America day. It's to make sure those who have fallen aren't forgotten.

Posted: Dec 15, 2019 6:01 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2019 6:09 PM

EAGLE POINT, Ore. -- The Eagle Point National Cemetery is just one of 1,600 cemeteries across the country covered in wreaths for Wreaths Across America day. It's to make sure those who have fallen aren't forgotten.

Remember. Honor. Teach. That's the focus of Southern Oregon's Wreaths Across America ceremony-- to remember the fallen, honor those currently serving, and teach kids the value of freedom. About 1,500 headstones now have a green wreath with a red bow.

"I can't think of anything more important than respecting the people that earned us our freedom," said the Public Affairs Officer for Medford's Civil Air Patrol Major Max McHatton. "And I'm a veteran myself so it's kind of near and dear."

Today's ceremony honors veterans of every branch of the military including the Merchant Marines, Prisoners of War, and those still Missing in Action.

"We do this to remember them. We put the wreath down. We say their name out lod. The worst thing that can happen to these men and women is to be forgotten. We don't want that to happen," Major McHatton added.

Wreaths Across America allows loved ones to sponsor a wreath for a fallen veteran across the nation. Patrick 'Spanky' Allen is the President of the Pacific Northwest chapter of the Old Guard Riders, a non-profit veterans motorcycle riding organization. They are dedicated to helping all veterans (not just those who ride) in any way possible. The group helped make the Wreaths Across America ceremony possible.

"These people went through a lot of sacrifice in their lives for us for our freedom," Allen said. "The number one thing that we never need to forget are these people and their sacrifices."

Speakers at the ceremony said they didn't want to just list off a bunch of statistics about fallen veterans across the nation. Instead, thye asked people to take a walk around the cemetery, find a name of a veteran, and look the person up online to learn about who they are."

Both the Civil Air Patrol and the Old Guard Riders spent hours in the rain putting the wreaths on those headstones. They could always use more volunteers and more wreaths. If you'd like to lend a hand, you can call Spanky at (541) 659-8715.

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