2013 Wreaths Across America ceremony honors veterans, teaches about freedom

Wreaths Across America 1Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, helped honor and remember fallen veterans Tuesday during a wreath-laying ceremony at the state Capitol in Olympia. The event was one of hundreds held across the country to commemorate those who cannot be with their families during the holiday season.

“I am honored to participate in this important ceremony every year,” said Honeyford, himself a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol. “Having the wreath in our state’s Capitol building is a way to honor the thousands of veterans who have died in defense of our country. I hope anyone coming to Olympia will take the time to stop by and see it, pause to reflect on all they are blessed with, and give thanks to those who fought to secure it.”

The mission of the Wreaths Across America organization is to remember America’s fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve the freedoms Americans enjoy. It’s carried out in part by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery with veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states, ceremonies at sea and 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil. Honeyford was joined by two dozen other civilian and military attendees to place this year’s wreath near the Christmas tree decorating the state Capitol Rotunda.

“There are empty seats in homes across America for family members who are serving or those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Honeyford continued. “I believe there is no better time to express our appreciation and gratitude than during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.”

Sen. Honeyford and others pause in the state Capitol rotunda with the wreath from Tuesday’s ceremony.