Around 20 community members trudged through fresh snow Saturday morning to lay 260 wreaths on veterans’ graves at the Logan City Cemetery.
“I feel so lucky to have been a part of this,” said Mary Disotell, a combat veteran and former sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. “I knelt down to place a wreath on this one grave and it had a Marine Corps flag lying next to it. I was so touched.”
This local observance was just one of 1,600 events all across the nation as part of the Wreaths Across America program. This is the second year the Cache Valley Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol has sponsored and organized a local ceremony.
As part of the opening ceremony, Disotell stood with representatives from each branch of the military and presented a wreath in honor of soldiers missing in action and prisoners of war.
Kelsi Christensen, the deputy commander for cadets in the squadron, stood at the pulpit reading a speech to recognize and honor veterans while thousands of other people read the same speech to communities gathered across the nation.
“It is pretty cool; we are showing our unity, nationwide in remembering our service members,” Christensen said. “We will do what we can to try and make it bigger each year.”
Each of the 260 wreaths were sponsored by community members who donated $15. Christensen said there are around 1,400 veteran graves in Logan City Cemetery, and their goal is to one day lay a wreath on every single one.
Jacob Lyman walked around the cemetery with his nephews, each of them holding a wreath as they searched for veterans’ graves. One of his nephews is a member of the squadron’s color guard that presented the colors during the ceremony.
“This is such a good experience,” Lyman said. “It is something I am proud to participate in.”
Christensen and her mother, Inken, dedicated a lot of time when preparing for this event and said they hope this becomes a larger event that will have a ripple effect across the valley. They plan on expanding the program to include educational opportunities for youth.