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Wreaths Across America, volunteers honor 500+ veterans

By Melissa McCaghren

Slatonite GM

Slaton residents spent part of their time Saturday (Dec. 16) at Englewood Cemetery placing 508 wreaths on veterans’ graves during the annual Wreaths Across America program.

This year, 4,225 participating locations across America placed wreaths in the cemeteries. The wreaths are balsam fir that was grown in the northeast region of Maine.

Slaton was selected to have an opening ceremony this year, which began with a moment of silence by Major. Jim Preidis, prior Civil Air Patrol Company Commander, then the a prayer by Pastory Kevin Vander and presentation of the colors by CAP Color Guard.

Priedis thanked everyone who attended the event and discussed the importance of the day. “Millions of Americans gather safely is one nation to remember. Honor and teach. We are all proud to be Americans. who live in a free society of many people from many walks of life. The freedoms we enjoy today have not come without a price lying before us and in cemeteries throughout this nation are men and women who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom and without fear,” he said. “We can worship as we see fit. We can raise our children to believe as we do. We are free to vote for the leaders of our choosing. And we have the right to succeed and we have the right to fail in whatever endeavor we wish to pursue. The United States of America was founded on the ideals of freedom, justice, and equality. Our nation stands as a shining beacon of liberty and freedom to the world. We thank those who gave their lives to keep us free and we shall not forget you. We shall remember.”

For more information and photos from the event, please read the Thursday edition of The Slatonite.

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