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Wreath-laying honors veterans across nation (photos, video)

Local event draws dozens to cemetery

Saturday, December 15, 2012
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Specialist Richard Fullam, right, of Clifton Park, hands a wreath over to Alden Rigney, of Cohoes, left, at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery on Saturday, December 15, 2012.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson
Specialist Richard Fullam, right, of Clifton Park, hands a wreath over to Alden Rigney, of Cohoes, left, at the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery on Saturday, December 15, 2012.

— Anissa Garnsey hopes that no one will ever forget the veterans who fought for this country.

She helped remind people on Saturday afternoon at Anissa Garnsey hopes that no one will ever forget the veterans who fought for this country.

She helped remind people on Saturday afternoon at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, where she participated in her third Wreaths Across America Day. The 17-year-old Gansevoort resident, who hopes to follow members of her family into the Air Force, served as emcee for part of the ceremony, which consisted of laying wreaths around a flag pole in honor of each branch of service.

“It’s really about honoring our veterans,” said Garnsey, a lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. “That’s what keeps me coming back.”

“It’s cold, but it’s so worth it. You really feel like you’re doing something for everyone that has served us,” she said.

Andy Bodien, of Ballston Spa, led three Cub Scouts in placing the penultimate wreath of the day. The kids were wrapped up warmly in coats and gloves as they trailed a few feet back, wearing somber expressions and trying to walk in step. After placing the wreath on a stand, the scouts and Bodien saluted the memorial before walking back into the crowd of dozens watching the event.

“It’s absolutely important for them to be involved,” said Bodien.

At the noon ceremony, wreaths were laid by veterans, a local Cub Scout pack and the mothers of two soldiers, who laid the final wreath. Each wreathbearer was accompanied by two members of the Civil Air Patrol.

In the morning, more members of the Cub pack already were at the cemetery, helping to place hundreds of wreaths against gravestones. By early afternoon, there were rows and rows of wreaths on the markers.

The mission of the national event is to remember, honor and teach about the fallen veterans and those currently serving in the armed services. Thousands of volunteers are involved throughout the country, with wreaths paid for by individual and corporate donors.

Civil Air Patrol Maj. John Paneto, who served as master of ceremonies, noted how the program has grown from just a handful of donated wreaths when it first started.

Getting young people involved is important to Garnsey, who hopes people like her will carry forward this tradition.

“When I see veterans, I’m so proud of them” she said. “I just want to shake their hand and tell them I’m so honored that they served their country. “

The values Garnsey wants to fight for are freedom, justice and equality. An early high school graduate, she said she’ll begin talking to an Air Force recruiter this fall, with the hope of going into public affairs.

Learn more about this event and donate at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

. The 17-year-old Gansevoort resident, who hopes to follow members of her family into the Air Force, served as emcee for part of the ceremony, which consisted of laying wreaths around a flag pole in honor of each branch of service.

“It’s really about honoring our veterans,” said Garnsey, a lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. “That’s what keeps me coming back.”

“It’s cold, but it’s so worth it. You really feel like you’re doing something for everyone that has served us,” she said.

Andy Bodien, of Ballston Spa, led three Cub Scouts in placing the penultimate wreath of the day. The kids were wrapped up warmly in coats and gloves as they trailed a few feet back, wearing somber expressions and trying to walk in step. After placing the wreath on a stand, the scouts and Bodien saluted the memorial before walking back into the crowd of dozens watching the event.

“It’s absolutely important for them to be involved,” said Bodien.

At the noon ceremony, wreaths were laid by veterans, a local Cub Scout pack and the mothers of two soldiers, who laid the final wreath. Each wreathbearer was accompanied by two members of the Civil Air Patrol.

In the morning, more members of the Cub pack already were at the cemetery, helping to place hundreds of wreaths against gravestones. By early afternoon, there were rows and rows of wreaths on the markers.

The mission of the national event is to remember, honor and teach about the fallen veterans and those currently serving in the armed services. Thousands of volunteers are involved throughout the country, with wreaths paid for by individual and corporate donors.

Civil Air Patrol Maj. John Paneto, who served as master of ceremonies, noted how the program has grown from just a handful of donated wreaths when it first started.

Getting young people involved is important to Garnsey, who hopes people like her will carry forward this tradition.

“When I see veterans, I’m so proud of them” she said. “I just want to shake their hand and tell them I’m so honored that they served their country. “

The values Garnsey wants to fight for are freedom, justice and equality. An early high school graduate, she said she’ll begin talking to an Air Force recruiter this fall, with the hope of going into public affairs.

Learn more about this event and donate at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

 
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