December 16, 2013

Wreaths Across America honors America's veterans

The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — The Daughters of the American Revolution and the American Legion paid their respects to those who served their country and those who made the ultimate sacrifice with a wreath-laying ceremony at Forest Cemetery Saturday.

Those gathered at the veterans memorial at the cemetery joined others at more than 400 other sites across the country for Wreaths Across America.

"This is new," American Legion Sgt. At Arms Fred Bridges said. Veterans laid seven wreaths at the memorial — one for each branch of the armed forces and one for POW/MIAs, he said.

"We instigated it (locally)," said Deb Krusemark of the Mary Marion Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter. "I heard about it last year."

Krusemark said this ceremony is performed at Arlington National Cemetery.

"It'd be neat to do it here," she said. Krusemark added that other members of the chapter performed a similar ceremony in Knoxville.

Krusemark was the speaker at the Oskaloosa ceremony and spoke before a veteran laid a wreath to honor his branch of the service.

"The freedoms we have today do not come without a price," she said.

The U.S. armed forces defend the principles of "freedom, justice and equality" around the world, she said.

Krusemark said that when you see a veteran, you should "take a moment to say 'thank you.'"

Herald Editor Duane Nollen can be reached by email at oskynews@oskyherald.com