Add To Favorites

Volusia residents pay tribute to veterans during National Wreaths Across America Day

News-Journal - 12/14/2019

ORMOND BEACH -- Joe Glover stood over the grave of his father-in-law, his right hand raised to his forehead in a salute as his granddaughter placed a wreath on the gray stone.

"I love this nation and I love that man and it's just a way to give back to the one that made the sacrifice for us." Glover said with tears in his eyes. "He passed 18 years ago and was a World War II Veteran."

Glover, a U.S. Navy Veteran from Port Orange who served 20 years, and his family made the trip to the Volusia Memorial Gardens in Ormond Beach Saturday for the second year in a row to participate in National Wreaths Across America Day.

As part of the event, veterans, families, friends and neighbors gather to remember the fallen, honor their sacrifice and teach their children the nation's history by laying wreaths on veteran's graves at more than 1,600 locations across the United States, at sea and abroad. Over 200 wreaths were laid out in Ormond Beach this year.

"It's heartwarming to have so many people that want to show their honor to the sacrifices they made for this great nation. It means a lot," Glover said. "As long as I can do it I'll continue to come. They're paying tribute to every veteran that has ever served."

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's AccaFella's group gave performances of the National Anthem and Proud to Be An American while the American Legion Post 120 performed the Color Guard.

Veterans and families helped to place the ceremonious wreathes for the Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and prisoners of war.

Gary Benson, who spoke at the beginning of the event, said it's important to say the fallen solider's name when saluting them after placing the wreath down.

"They say you die twice, once when you take your last breath and the second time is the last time your name is spoken," Benson said.

Ormond Beach resident Bonnie Winn made the trip to lay wreaths on the graves of her parents and uncle, who all served in the Army during World War II.

"We've been coming since it started here four years ago," Winn said, explaining that she's laid nearly 25 wreaths so far that day. "It's wonderful and very inspirational."

Tracie Nicholson of Ormond Beach came out with her sister and 10-year-old brother Parker Jewell to lay wreaths on as many veteran's graves as they could.

"It's a great family event," Nicholson said, explaining that her father-in-law was in the Navy and her father served in the Air Force. "I love that it's about teaching children and the next generation about the important things in our country."

And that's exactly what she was helping Parker do. She helped point out graves so that he could lay the wreaths down himself, take a step back, say their name and salute them.

"It was pretty cool because I've never done it before," Parker said. "It's kind on interesting."

___

(c)2019 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

Visit The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla. at www.news-journalonline.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.