Wreath-laying honors soldiers

BY DANZA JOHNSON
Daily Journal

CORINTH – Many of Susan Towns' family members have served in the military, so she felt it was her duty to participate in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Corinth National Cemetery Saturday.

Towns was one of about 30 who showed up, despite cold and wet weather, to lay wreaths on 160 memorials of soldiers who'd been killed or who were missing from past wars.

The event, called Wreaths Across America, was coordinated by American Legion member Tommy Watson and the Corinth chapter of the legion.

“These wreaths are a symbol of honor for those Americans who have served and who are serving in wars,” said Watson. “It's a way for us to let people know that we haven't forgotten about the sacrifices they have made for our freedoms. This is the second year that we've participated and we feel it is a great way to honor our guys.”

As she walked around placing wreaths on memorials, Towns said it gave her a warm feeling.

“This is our history,” she said. “These guys were from our community and it's good for us to come and visit them from time to time. All these memorials represents people who have given the ultimate sacrifice.”

'They were selfless'
Ralph Gilliam placed wreaths on two of the more recent sites, those of Earnest P. Vasser and Jeffrey Dayton, both whom died in wars in the Persian Gulf.

“We owe this day and every day to these guys,” said Gilliam. “They were selfless individuals and we thank them.”

Wreaths Across America is a national patriotic initiative bringing wreaths to more than 200 veterans cemeteries and monuments in all 50 states and Puerto Rico. The ceremonies were coordinated and took place simultaneously at noon Arlington time.

The campaign sprang from a patriotic tradition at Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine, which began donating wreaths for veterans' graves at Arlington National Cemetery 15 years ago. This is the second year that remembrance wreaths will be placed on sites nationwide.

Contact Daily Journal reporter Danza Johnson
at 678-1583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.