DANVILLE, Ill., (WCIA) — Saturday is Wreaths Across America Day, and people across the country purchased wreaths to sponsor veterans in 3,400 locations across all 50 states.
“It’s just so vitally important to remember both those that have passed as well as their families,” Brian Stultz, a U.S. Navy veteran, said. He always makes an effort to go to the Danville National Cemetary on Wreaths Across America Day.
Stultz has been involved for the last 10-12 years, laying wreaths on the graves of those involved in many different wars, including those who served in the Desert Storm era with him.
“We have a vast number of veterans from all over all of those times," Stultz said. "The opportunity for us to get together again, continue to serve our communities and serve our countries, it’s just deep down inside of all of us.”
For many, it’s personal. Including Tammy Williams, the coordinator. Her best friend is buried at the cemetery in Danville.
“Before I started as the coordinator, his mom couldn’t go visit his grave," Williams said. "I would do that and then I would take pictures and send them to her so she knew he was taken care of.”
This year, it included more than just veterans. State Representative Tom Bennett laid a wreath in honor of his nephew, Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign).
“He really thought a lot of veterans, very thankful. We’re both very thankful for veterans," Bennett said. "My father fought in World War II and it just means a tremendous amount for our community to come together like this. It’s a wonderful day.”
Scott Bennett passed away from brain cancer on Dec. 9.
Williams said she wants to pass down the annual tradition to younger generations. Her grandchildren help her out each year.
“I want to keep it going for her because she has started it and everything," Johnaell Forman, one of her grandsons, said.
Her other grandson, Zyerell Forman, feels the same.
“I’m helping people because they sacrificed for our country and love people like other people do," he said.
Stultz is thankful for people like them who keep working to make Wreaths Across America better and better each year.
“The one takeaway that I pray all of them have is that their loved ones indeed have not been forgotten," Stultz said.
Wreaths Across America is a donation-based organization. The money helps buy wreaths to go on the graves. Williams said she’ll soon start planning for next year.
via WCIA.com https://www.wcia.com
December 18, 2022 at 12:33AM