Thursday, December 21, 2023

Cemetery wreath ceremony pays tribute to veterans

The Wreaths Across America ceremony at Memorial Cemetery in Romulus was a moving tribute to those men and women who have served their country.

The event, brought to the community by Mayor Robert A. McCraight, was especially significant to him as a member of a military family. Service members have been a passion of the mayor for decades. He is the co-founder of the Romulus Veterans Outreach Coalition, which focuses on service projects for Romulus veterans, and supports other organizations and programs for combat veterans suffering from PTSD. McCraight has also been awarded the Veterans of Foreign Wars Distinguished Service Award for his efforts to acknowledge and honor those who serve in all branches of the military.

McCraight and his wife, Kendra, participated in their first Wreaths Across America at the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly 10 years ago.  Since then, the couple has participated in the nationwide event that recognizes deceased veterans every year. McCraight said he was gratified to have brought the event to Romulus where residents have embraced the event and helped it grow each year.

National Wreaths Across America Day took place at over 4,225 participating locations across the country, including Arlington National Cemetery. Volunteers remembered heroes as they said their names aloud, honoring over three million veterans this year.  The organization slogan, Remember, Honor, Teach is one McCraight continues to support. 

The motto reminds individuals to Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom.  

“What I love most about this day, and this mission, is that it is so much more than just the placement of a wreath. The wreath is the catalyst, it brings together communities - families and strangers -- to learn about those who have served and sacrificed,” said Karen Worcester, executive director Wreaths Across America. “We have more than three million volunteers across the country and a third of them are children. This mission and the events happening today provide the opportunity to teach kids about what freedom is.”

 For more information about the year-long mission and ways to get involved, visit National Wreaths Across America Day 2024 will take place on Saturday, Dec. 14.