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Wreaths Across America service honors veterans

Dundalk Eagle - 12/21/2017

"We are gathered here at this memorial site and memorial sites all across America to remember that we are one nation with one flag. We are all proud to be Americans that live in a free society made up of many people, many races, from many walks of life. The freedoms we enjoy today have not come without a price," said Cadet Captain Greggor Hines of the Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron, Civil Air Patrol at the hosted at the Wreaths Across America service held at the Lamky, Luther, Whitehead Veterans Memorial on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Over 200 residents, officials, service people, and organization members showed up at the Holly Hills Memorial Garden to honor those who lost their lives protecting our country's freedom. By the end of the event, 220 wreaths were laid on 220 graves on Valor Hill, including one of the grave of resident and community activist Al Clasing who founded the Lamky, Luther, Whitehead Veterans Memorial.

Del. Ric Metzgar (R-6) lead the invocation at the ceremony, encouraging the audience to show their respect and appreciation for the people buried on that hill.

"This is truly the reason for the season," he said, gesturing to the fields monument behind him.

Wreaths Across America services were held all over the country during that chilly Saturday morning. The purpose is to show "front of national unity as we remember the fallen," said Hines. The event's goals are to remember fallen U.S. veterans while honoring those who serve, and teaching children the value of freedom.

Nadine Hartman, who organized the service, encouraged everybody to write down a soldier's name from a grave and research them and learn about their lives. She said every soldier buried at the gardens was a real person with a family and loved ones who miss them.

"They are more than just a statistic," she said.

Active members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard all stepped forward individually, laying down a wreath at the foot of the monument.

The final wreath laid was one honoring the 93,129 United States serviceman from all branches that were either prisoner of war or missing in action and never returned home.

Local organizations that supported, attended and sponsored the event were the Civil Air Patrol, Maryland Wing, Civil Air Patrol, Group II, MDWG, Civil Air Patrol, Wreaths Across America, Trail Life USA - Northeast Region, White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company, and Gunpowder VFW Post 10067.

For more information on Wreaths Across America, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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