(Lander, WY) – The Wreaths Across America ceremony in Lander was held on Saturday, December 18th at the Mount Hope Cemetery, joining the other 2,500 participating locations across the country to lay wreaths on the graves of our nation’s honored veterans.
Lander Valley High School (LVHS) senior and event organizer Taylor Romans welcomed the crowd as they took their seats, marking the final year she will be directly in charge of the ceremony.
A proclamation was announced at the December 14th Lander City Council meeting, honoring the ceremony as well.
“We are all proud to be Americans that live in a free society made up of many people, from many walks of life,” Taylor commented to the crowd at the beginning of the ceremony.
“The freedoms we enjoy today have not come without a price. Lying here before us and in cemeteries throughout this nation are men and women who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom without fear. We can worship as we see fit.
“We can raise our children to believe as we do. We are free to vote for the leaders of our choosing. And, we have the right to succeed and we have the right to fail at whatever endeavor we wish to pursue.”
Taylor then quoted the 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan.
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
Next up was guest speaker Dan Starks, the owner/founder of the Dubois National Museum of Military Vehicles, who thanked Taylor for her years of service to Wreath Across America, as well as those who have served and are serving our country.
“We are remembering a very small percent of the population who voluntarily put themselves in harms way,” Starks commented.
After the Color Guard displayed and set the flags, the following individuals laid wreaths to honor those who served or are serving in the various branches of the military, as well as Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action:
- Jonathan Pike laid the wreath to honor the United States Army
- William Bowlsby laid the wreath to honor the United States Marine Corps
- William Declue laid the wreath to honor the United States Navy
- Misty Kincaid laid the wreath to honor the United States Air Force
- Corridan Butler laid the wreath to honor the United States Space Force
- David Langerman laid the wreath to honor the United States Coast Guard
- Dewey Sutch laid the wreath to honor the United States Merchant Marines
- Jim Paulus laid the wreath to honor the 93,129 United States Servicemen from all branches of the service whose last known status was either Prisoner of War or Missing in Action
Check out the livestream of the entire ceremony, some final words from Taylor, and more photos from the event below.