(Riverton, WY) – A record number of about 40 volunteers gathered near the Veterans of Foreign Wars monument in Riverton’s Mountainview Cemetery for the Wreaths Across America event in Riverton on Saturday, December 18th, joining over 2500 other participating locations to lay wreaths on the graves of our nation’s honored veterans.
The theme for 2021 was “Live up to their Legacy”.
The nationwide WAA event began in 1992 with a donation of 5,000 wreaths to the Arlington National Cemetery.
Local businesses and organizations sponsored 444 wreaths this year, with the ten
ceremonial wreaths and credit from 2020 that made over 450 wreaths total, which were delivered by volunteer truck driver David Le Beau.
This is the largest number of wreaths sponsored yet.
Five groups sponsored wreaths: Wind River Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 3628, the Wind River Chapter of the Wyoming Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, the Wind River Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol, Hillcrest Baptist Church and Shelle Anderson Photography.
The group with the most wreaths sponsored was Aux 3628 with 256 sponsorships. Jordan Yager had the most sponsorships obtained by an individual with 65. Brent Sheldon had the largest personal sponsorship at 50.
Pastor Mike Smith, of Hillcrest Baptist Church in Riverton, opened the ceremony with an invocation giving “God thanks for those who served (and their families) in the past, are currently serving and will serve in the future.”
Pepper Ottman then addressed the crowd.
“We remember the ordinary men and women of the armed forces who found in themselves heroes when extraordinary circumstances demanded it,” she said.
“We honor them by teaching their deeds to succeeding generations. This is a cycle that must remain unbroken for America to stay great and continue our divine legacy.”
Karl Falken, Location Leader, also read a proclamation from Riverton Mayor Richard Gard and letters from U.S, Senators John Barrasso and Cynthia Lummis.
“I was very pleased with this event,” commented donor and volunteer Brent Sheldon. “It was a great showing from the community in support of our veterans and their sacrifices for our country.”
“The weather and was beautiful today and these wreaths that we laid on the graves of our veterans are also beautiful. It is the least we could do for our veterans,” Mary McAleenan, Regent, Fremont County Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Falken also wanted to acknowledge and give special thanks to Michelle Rambo who received the delivery of wreaths, Scott Robeson Custom Woodworking and Fine Cabinetry who built the new flag stands, Officer Milan Vinich who provided security, and Sexton Dan Ladd and crew who staged the wreaths until needed for the event.
Check out some more photos of the event below.