Wreath ceremony touches veterans

Cold weather didn’t keep more than 50 people from participating in the Gold Star Mothers’ wreath laying ceremony at the veterans memorial in Pontotoc on Saturday morning.
The wreaths were placed at the memorial as a part of Wreaths Across America where wreaths are placed in military cemeteries all across the country. This is the first time it has been held at a county memorial, said Kelly Bagwell, an organizer of the event. The wreaths are placed at the same hour all over the country.
Donna Bagwell, chapter president of the Gold Star Mothers, said 919 wreaths were received by the organization to be placed on veteran’s graves throughout Pontotoc County. There are 1,400 marked graves in the county, but Bagwell said they weren’t able to obtain a wreath for every grave.
Seven of the wreaths were placed at the foot of the veterans memorial in front of the courthouse in recognition for each branch of the military and one for recognition of prisoners of war and those missing in action.
Since losing her son Lucas Tucker in 2005 in Iraq, Bagwell has been dedicated to honoring all veterans, alive and fallen.
“This is a great way to honor all our veterans and those who have died for our country,” said Bagwell. “This shows that we appreciate them and the sacrifices they’ve made for us. Those men and women made this country what it is today and remembering and honoring them is the least we can do.”
James Crowder, 75, a former Air Force retiree, was at the ceremony. He laid the wreath for the Air Force and said after being retired for several years it is still an honor to have been a part of the U.S. military.
“I think this is a great thing for people to see,” said Crowder. “It’s an honor to serve this country and it’s good when people recognize it. We need to keep this going and never forget what our veterans have done.”

Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/NEMS Daily Journal