SHERIDAN — The Civil Air Patrol and Republican Women of Sheridan County collaborated to honor veterans through the Wreaths Across America event Dec. 15.
Beginning in 1992, a wreath company in Maine sent excess wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery as a gesture of good will. In 2006 it became an annual event of the Civil Air Patrol to remember, honor and teach youth about the sacrifices of our veterans for the cause of freedom. In 2008, the U.S. Congress named Dec. 13 Wreaths Across America Day for perpetual remembrance of veterans on the second or third Saturdays each year.
This year, more than 1.8 million wreaths were placed on graves of veterans in 1,640 cemeteries across the country.
Locally, 324 wreaths were placed in Sheridan, Story and Big Horn cemeteries and one at the veterans memorial near Bill Daniels Chapel at the Volunteers of America campus in Sheridan.
First Lt. Kristen Marcus, who oversees a squadron of 21 cadets of the local Civil Air Patrol, presided at the dedication Dec. 15. Her CAP cadets range from 12 to 21 years of age. The color guard posting the colors included First Ln. Kaven Bede, 2nd Lt. Nathaniel Lydic, Chief Master Sgt. Brie Marcus, Chief Master Sgt. Bryce Lydic and Sr. Airman Nathan Petzold. Capt. Nels Nelson presented the invocation and speaker Keith Davidson, president of the American Legion, provided a history of the project.
Rebecca Ramirez of the Republican Women of Sheridan County chaired the committee for RWSC, which sold and donated half the wreaths. Anita Schamber and Gail Symons also served on the committee.
In addition to the event at the cemetery, a single wreath was presented by Schamber, constituent minister of VOA, to VOA leaders to honor the 21 veterans whose names are engraved on plaques and placed upon a memorial stone near the Bill Daniels Chapel on the local VOA campus.