Wind River Composite Squadron supports Wreaths Across America

    (Riverton, WY) – On December 19th, 2020, well before the official start time of 10:00 am, volunteers began gathering near the Veterans of Foreign Wars monument in Riverton’s Mountain View Cemetery. About 35 of them had come to support the 4th annual Wreaths Across America event here.

    Nationwide, they joined many other participating locations to lay wreaths on the graves of our nation’s honored veterans. This continues the stated mission of remember, honor, and teach. The theme for 2020 is “Be an American Worth Fighting For.” The WAA event began in 1992 with a donation of 5,000 wreaths to the Arlington National Cemetery. Wreaths Across America, Inc. formed in 2007 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. They have partnered since 2008 with the Civil Air Patrol.

    h/t Capt. Karl Falken, CAP – Volunteers stage boxes of wreaths for the event

    Generous local residents, businesses and organizations sponsored 170 wreaths of which 153 were delivered to Shoshoni by a volunteer trucker. (The balance was still being processed at the time of shipment.) This was on par with the 170 wreaths placed the first year in 2017 and may be considered a success given the challenges created by the pandemic.

    h/t Capt. Kirkman Baxter, CAP

    President Trump stated he overrode a decision to cancel the event at Arlington National Cemetery this year, according to The Washington Post. There last year more than 38,000 volunteers placed wreaths on all 245,000 Arlington gravesites. In all, it was reported that in 2019 WAA shipped a staggering 2.2 million wreaths to over 2,100 locations across the US where they were placed by over 2 million volunteers!

    Pastor Dan Keel, of the United Pentecostal Church in Riverton, attended to give the invocation, “Veterans fought for our freedom, which include the freedom of worship. One of the gravest threats to our nation is the distance between God and people. I believe this has opened America up to many attacks within and without. Therefore, I urge my fellow citizens to exercise that precious freedom to appeal to God to protect us from dangers no military force can fight. Especially during this pandemic, this passage from the second Chronicles is applicable, ‘When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.’”

    h/t Capt. Kirkman Baxter, CAP – Civil Air Patrol Color Guard posts colors: (L-R) C/2Lt Clark Bailey, C/Amn Matthew Stong, C/SMSgt Nicholas Stong, C/MSgt Timothy Stong

    The ceremony opened with a color guard of Civil Air Patrol cadets: Clark Bailey and Matthew, Timothy and Nicholas Stong. Eagle Scout, Jordan Yager, Martin “Marty” Cannan, and Charles Ginsburg also helped post the colors. Spc. Larry Tomat, retired, placed the ceremonial wreath for the U.S. Army. Cpl. Charles Ginsburg, USMC, retired, placed the wreath for the United States Marine Corps, Lt. Col. Martin Cannan, retired, placed wreath for the USAF, Tim Salazar placed the wreath for the Navy (though he served in the Army), Jim Cunningham placed the wreath for the U.S. Coast Guard, James Bailey, Capt., CAP, placed the wreath for the U.S. Merchant Marines, Timothy Thornton, Maj., CAP, placed the wreath for the U.S. Space Force and Sharon Ayars placed the Wreath in honor of the 93,129 U.S. service members whose last known status was POW or MIA. Karl Falken, Capt., CAP, was the Location Leader and officiated at the ceremony.

    h/t Capt. Kirkman Baxter, CAP – Karl Falken, Capt. CAP, officiates for event

    Once the ceremonial wreaths were placed, the volunteers took the rest of the wreaths and laid them on the graves of veterans, as well as about fifty grave specific requests. The special requests included two Civil War Veterans sponsored by the Lt Commander Edward Lea Camp no.2 of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

    h/t Capt. Karl Falken, CAP – Volunteer places wreath on veteran’s grave

    Other participating groups were the Wind River Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution with 79 wreaths, the Wind River Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol with 32 wreaths, the Wind River Post 3628 of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary with 23 wreaths, and the Fremont County Daughters of the American Revolution with 10 wreaths. Other individuals and corporations sponsored the remainder with the largest corporate sponsor Frontier Home Health and Hospice with 30 wreaths and the largest individual door was Suzanne Anderson with 33 wreaths. Jordan Yager raised the most sponsorships with 79 wreaths sponsored.

    h/t Julie Yager – Martin “Marty” Cannan, Lt. Col. USAF Retired, Jordan Yager, Cpl. Charlie Ginsburg, Cpl. USMC retired

    “I have enjoyed participating in Wreaths Across America for three years now. Although I am not a veteran, my family has a solid tradition of service in the armed forces. This is an outstanding way to honor our veterans and inspire our youth. With so many challenges this year, it was encouraging to see the good turnout. I believe this is a valuable program for our community and will help it to continue here in Riverton,” said State Representative-elect Pepper Ottman.

    Special thanks to Michelle Rambo who received the delivery of wreaths and brought them to Riverton from Shoshoni and Sexton Dan Ladd and crew who stored them until needed for the event.

    h/t Capt. Karl Falken, CAP – Wreaths delivered by Michelle Rambo to Mountain View Cemetery

    h/t Karl Falken for providing the above info and photos.


    Related Posts

    Have a news tip or an awesome photo to share?