A simple Christmas Wreath for a grave. In itself, not that surprising this time of year. But when you see over 350 graves in the Fort McClellan Cemetery adorned with the Holiday Wreaths .... and when you see local youth groups putting the wreaths out to honor US Military Veterans and their family members .... it is no longer so simple. Every year, for the past twenty-six years, the organization Wreaths Across America has coordinated the placement of Holiday Wreaths on the graves of veterans and family members across the United States. All 400,000 graves at Arlington National Cemetery and United States Military graves around the world received the Holiday Wreaths as a donation from citizens wanting the acknowledge our veterans, their families and their sacrifices. In total, 1.2 Million Wreaths were placed on gravesites around the world to honor US Military Veterans by volunteers. In Calhoun County, we have our own local Wreaths Across America headed up by Major General Gerald Watson (USA retired). General Watson relies every year on the youth of Calhoun County to come out and solemnly place the wreaths on the graves. This year the youth groups included members from Boy Scouts of America (BSA), Girls Scouts of America (GSA), and the East Central Alabama Chapter of the Young Marines. Pictured in the group photo inside the Fort McClellan Cemetery are members of BSA Pack 4009, BSA Troops 4009 and 4011, BSA Venture Crew 4009, GSA Troops 20015, 20051, 20054, 20136, and the Young Marines. For many of the youth, this is their fifth or sixth Wreaths Across America. For others, this was their first and they practiced what they had volunteered to do. Each Scout and Marine were responsible for placing multiple wreaths on the graves during the ceremony. Each of them mastered their approach, salute and reading the person’s name aloud before the ceremony. When it came time for their job, each youth stepped up and carried out their duty to honor the sacrifice. The Scouts and Marines were there to honor others ... not just in Fort McClellan, but throughout our country and around the world. Next year, on Dec. 16, 2017, the youth will be there again to help us remember and honor our veterans. For more information about Wreaths Across America, the local chapter can be contacted via the national website.