People of all ages came out for the annual ceremony to honor the deceased veterans, watching respectfully as members of the Boy Scouts, Young Marines and 4-H Club carefully placed at each headstone an evergreen wreath with a red bow.
“Each headstone represents a story, a family, a tradition of service and selfless sacrifice,” Col. Brent Bolander, commander of the Anniston Army Depot, said during a gathering before the ceremony. “We must never forget our comrades and the sacrifices made.”
The wreath-laying ceremony is held each December at the McClellan cemetery. It is part of a national effort promoted by Wreaths Across America, an organization that asks volunteers to coordinate ceremonies across the United States.
“This act of humanity, honor and respect continues,” Bolander said.
Bolander spoke to a crowd composed primarily of adults who sat in folding chairs and on bleachers. Youth, dressed in uniforms adorned in badges, lined a tall black fence that encloses the neatly kept cemetery, as he spoke.
During the brief gathering before the ceremony a color guard presented the U.S. Flag and the National Anthem was sung as former servicemen and woman in the crowd stood at attention and saluted.
“There is no better place that anyone could be than right here, right now,” Bolander said.
Staff writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.