Pictured at the Fort McClellan Cemetery are the scouts that have returned again this year to continue their duty. Pictured are representatives from Boy Scouts of America Venture Crew 4009; Girl Scouts of America Troops 051, 107, 102, 136, 170; Boy Scouts of America Troops 4009 & 4010; and Boy Scouts of America Packs 4009 & 4010. With the scouts are MG Watson, retired, and Peter ‘The Patriot’ Leavitt, a Revolutionary War reenactor, from Jacksonville.
Each year, two Saturdays before Christmas, Wreaths Across America™ (WAA) places almost two million wreaths on the graves of American Veterans and family members across the U.S. and around the world. From the military cemeteries above Omaha Beach to Arlington National Cemetery, volunteers place wreaths on these hallowed graves. On our own Fort McClellan, there are over 300 gravesites where veterans and family members are interred. Some of these are children who died in the base hospital when their family was based in Anniston. Several are soldiers who died in the line of duty, even two who died in The Vietnam War. Others are retirees who settled here in Calhoun County and lived out their days locally. Regardless, they all share the same pedigree of being a service member or a military dependent. Wreaths Across America™ and the volunteers from Calhoun County make sure that each of these gravesites are remembered during the holiday season. Boys Scouts of America™ (BSA) and Girl Scouts of America™ (GSA) come together to remember each of these people. During the Remembrance Ceremony, the scouts will place a wreath on the grave, and speak the person’s name aloud — that is part of the remembrance — for as long as a person’s name is said aloud, they are not forgotten. The Scouts have come for the nine years that Maj. Gen. Gerald Watson (USA retired) and the local community have sponsored our local WAA. Some of the Scouts performing the service were not even born the first year that this group of volunteers placed the first wreaths. The scouts and community also celebrated the State of Alabama’s Bicentennial during the ceremony and honored the Alabama Veterans that have ensured Alabama and America’s future.