JROTC Leaves Wreaths at Soldiers’ Graves

Amanda Caldwell, Staff Writer

Take a step back and picture this; hushed silenece that could only ever belong to that of a burial ground. A soft whisper here and there from visitors. The soft crunch of grass under foot. But today is different- there is a gathering of people. A soft breeze blowing against crisp and clean uniforms. Eyes following each of the uniform clad people as they walk with a bright green wreath wrapped in their arms. An honorable ceremony in national cemeteries across the nation. All to pay respect to those who have and are currently serving in the military.

“In my opinion, the on lookers may have been thinking thank you for honoring their memory,” senior Sunny Chavez said.

Wreaths across America is a program that every year brings wreaths to national cemeteries across the nation, placing the wreaths on the graves of those who have served our nation and helped to give us the freedom that we all have. Many of us forget that freedom is not free and many people have given their lives to protect the freedom we take for granted. It is a way to thank these extrodianray people, for sacrificing so much just to protect their country and those who live here. This tradition is a reminder to civilians and recognition to veterans.

“I volunteered because there is a certain honor I feel when I give back to the community,” Chavez said.

This past Saturday was the first time for Mansfield High School’s JROTC to participate in this event. Everything done to honor fallen soldiers is done with volunteer work, all these people giving and helping to remember people who gave them the freedom that they enjoy everyday. With out these grave markers, we might not even remember the names of the people who gave everything at some point for a cause. Those who served in wars, those who never made it home. These wreaths are memorable, to honor those who went missing in action never to return, to those who died in action, to those who came home scared physically or mentally, for anyone who has ever served the military in our country. The military isn’t for just anyone, it tests so many things, and those who participate are extraordinary people who endure through some of the toughest things, many that some of us can’t even imagine.

“To me it was a wake up call to see that so many young people gave their lives for us, just the quantity of graves was astonishing,” Chavez said.

Veterans give a piece of themselves to the military and they are willing to serve their country with the greatest kind of service, despite the fact that their decision to go out into a field could cost their life. No guarantee that they will ever come home, no promise they will see their loved ones again, and the graves show just how many people are willing to give a piece of their lives that they will never get back in service.  It’s astounding and leaves many in awe that so many brave souls have contributed in making America strong and in keeping American children, adults, and elderly safe.