Dec 212011

By Naomi Hatch–

The Eastern Mountain Young Marines recently organized a project to lay wreaths brought from Arlington Cemetery on veterans’ graves at the Snowflake Cemetery.

Participating in the Dec. 10 ceremony were members of the Snowflake-Taylor American Legion Post, along with the American Legion Riders of Post 86 of Heber/Overgaard, Heber/Overgaard American Legion Post 86 and Christian Motorcyclists Association High Country Riders.

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery that began in 1992 with the mission to remember, honor and teach being carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on the second Saturday of December at Arlington, as well as other veterans cemeteries throughout the United States.

Gunnery Sgt. Jerry Miller, U.S. Marine Corps Retired, spoke, noting that, “Marines never become civilians.”

“What stuck with me about sacrifices is that all kind of sacrifices go on to varying degrees,” said Miller. “Events like this have remember some didn’t pay a little, some paid all.”

“You never forget the warmth of things while standing in the snow,” said Miller as those attending stood on a very cold morning in several inches of snow.

He encouraged everyone to remind younger people about history.

“We need to pray to our God every day that we are able to live in this great country, the greatest country in the world, the United States of America,” he said.

Tom McCoy, U.S. Navy Retired, said, “Not every person who lies here gave their lives serving their country, but they served God,” and he then read a powerful poem.

The Easter Mountain Young Marines along with others who wanted to participate laid wreaths on 260 veterans’ graves among the 984 graves in the cemetery.

When the wreaths were laid there was a 21-gun salute and Taps was played by the Snowflake-Taylor American Legion.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, the wreaths will be taken from the gravesites. If you would like to assist, contact the Young Marines at (928) 537-4327.

Photo by Naomi Hatch

Gunnery Sgt. Jerry Miller spoke at the Wreaths Across America program held Dec. 10 at the Snowflake Cemetery, where wreaths were placed on the graves of 260 veterans.