Civil Air Patrol

Wisconsin Wing Units Participate in Wreath-laying to Salute Veterans

Photo by Lt. Col. Steve Michaels - Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Michael Leggett from Milwaukee Composite Squadron #5, placing the Air Force ceremonial wreath at Wood National Cemetery.

Madison, Wis. — Members of Civil Air Patrol Wisconsin Wing squadrons proudly partnered with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that recognizes the courage and sacrifices of U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on the graves of the fallen this past Saturday.

Representing one-third of the squadrons in the state, approximately 100 Wisconsin CAP members from nine squadrons participated in the event held December 10.   An estimated 700 wreaths were laid at eight national veteran’s cemeteries or war memorials located throughout the state.  Specially designated wreaths for the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and POW/MIA were placed at each of the memorials.

The following squadrons held ceremonies throughout Wisconsin:

Milwaukee Composite Squadron #5, Timmerman Composite Squadron and Waukesha Composite Squadron – Wood National Cemetery- Milwaukee, Wis.

Ozaukee Composite Squadron – Veteran’s Park- Saukville, Wis.

Racine Composite Squadron – Southern Wisconsin Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery- Union Grove, Wis.

Stevens Point Composite Squadron – Korean War Veteran’s Memorial- Plover, Wis.

Walco Composite Squadron – Veteran’s Memorial in Oak Hill Cemetery- Lake Geneva, WI and Veteran’s Memorial at Walworth County Veteran’s Park- Elkhorn, Wis.

Wild Rivers Composite Squadron – Northern Wisconsin Veteran’s Memorial- Spooner, Wis.

Click to see:  YouTube Video – Spooner Advocate

Wisconsin Wing – Central Wisconsin Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery- King, Wis.

Hundreds of bystanders watched as motorcyclists from the Patriot Guard Riders, whose members’ primary mission is to attend the funerals of fallen heroes nationwide, stood proudly displaying large American flags at several of the cemeteries.

Gold Star Mothers, there to place a wreath at a loved one’s grave or that of another veteran, were appreciative of the wreaths honoring those who gave so much.  The playing of taps resounded in the crisp air as the ceremonies came to an end.  With a final salute for the day, volunteers laid the red-bowed wreaths at the headstones of those so deserving and not forgotten.

“Our mission is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach our children the value of freedom,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.  “Thousands of CAP members participate each year to help us do just that. And with CAP’s help, this project has continued to see remarkable growth.”

This year, in tribute to the 25 million men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces — guarding and preserving America’s freedom throughout history — wreaths from Maine’s Worcester Wreath Co. were placed on hundreds of thousands of veterans’ graves at more than 700 cemetery or memorial sites in all 50 states, as well as 24 foreign locations.  Civil Air Patrol members lead or participate, often with color and honor guards, in many of the ceremonies at cemeteries and war memorials.

“We are very thankful for the opportunities provided by Wreaths Across America,” said Maj. Gen. Chuck Carr, CAP national commander.  “Sponsoring wreaths and participating in the wreath-laying ceremonies is an honor to our veterans, a service to our communities, and a learning experience for our cadets and officers.”

Wreaths Across America began in 2006 as an offshoot of the Arlington National Cemetery wreath project, which was started in 1992 with the annual placement of wreaths donated by Worcester Wreath Co., which is owned by the Worcester family.  Since its inception six years ago, Wreaths Across America has experienced tremendous growth.

Visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org for more information about Wreaths Across America and participating locations.

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