MABANK–160 Veterans at Eubanks Cedar Creek Memorial Park were honored and remembered for the National Wreaths Across America Day held Dec. 19.
A local project that Mabank City Manager Bryant Morris and Susan Martz-Cothran worked with the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) started last year. Their goal was to start the Wreaths Across America (WAA) at Cedar Creek Lake and add one or two cemeteries each year so most veterans buried at lake area cemeteries would not be forgotten. Due to COVID-19 only one cemetery was kept this year, but four other cemeteries have shown interest for next year.
WAA is a community involved, free, public event. Currently there are 2,557 locations participating in National Wreaths Across America Day and events in Europe and at sea. The WAA mission touches the lives of thousands of schools, scout, civic and religious groups across the country through fundraising for wreath sponsorships. As a way to reward fund sites that do not take money but reinvest their funds into more wreaths, WAA is doubling the Eubank Cedar Creek Memorial Cemetery wreaths. From Dec. 19 – Jan. 15, 2021 five wreaths will be donated for every two purchased for next year’s ceremony. Last year Mabank High School donated their fundraising profits from T-shirts to the organization which helped them receive over 50 wreaths. “There are many people who have made this event possible, various Veteran organizations, of course I wouldn’t want to forget our own Sarah Maples Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. Where we stand for patriotism, education and historical preservation and the funeral home Eubanks Cedar Creek Lake Park that they maintain. We want to thank them for their setup,” Cothran said. Eubanks graciously made sure the wreaths arrived properly and every grave was marked appropriately with an American flag.
Wreaths Across America began with a surplus of holiday wreaths in 1992. Founder of Wreaths Across America Morrill Worcester, recalled a trip to Arlington National Cemetery as a boy which made an impression on him. Deciding he could best honor the older less visited section of the cemetery, arrangements were made to place wreaths on graves. This tradition quietly continued with more and more organizations and foundations joining forces and stepping in to make this happen until in 2005 a snow-covered picture of wreaths began circulating the internet. That’s when momentum picked up and more community involvement began.
A united front of gratitude and respect was shown across the United States of America as attendees remembered the fallen, honored those who served and strived to teach the next generation to always value freedom. All branches of service were saluted during the ceremony and represented including prisoners of war.
“We are not here to decorate the graves. We are here to remember not their deaths but their lives and what they have done for all of us. Each wreath is an appreciation of what they did to keep grateful Americans to have the freedoms that we have,” Cothran reminded guests. For more information on WAA visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.