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Photo Gallery | Veterans place wreaths to 'Remember, Honor and Teach'

~ Wreaths Across America Day honors past, present and future Servicemembers

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - What began as one man's vision to honor our nation's troops at Arlington National Cemetery 19 years ago, once again resulted in the placing of Christmas wreaths at the Arkansas State Veterans' Cemetery.

Over 100 wreaths were donated for placement by the North Little Rock Civitan Club and the Arkansas National Guard's office of Joint Services Support.  A small contingent of Veterans, family and friends joined in the ceremony to honor our Servicemembers, past and present, in appreciation for the freedoms we enjoy today.

"That's exactly what Wreaths Across America is about.  'Remember, Honor and Teach,'" said Maj. Gen. William Wofford, adjutant general of the Arkansas National Guard.  "Remember the Fallen; Honor those that are serving today in uniform; and Teach our children the value of freedom." 

The project was started by Morrill Worcester in 1992 with the donation and laying of 5,000 Christmas wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.  That gesture of appreciation eventually spread into the hearts of a nation and ultimately resulted in over 220,000 wreaths being placed at 545 locations around the world last year. 

General Wofford, who served as the speaker for today's event, reflected on the sacrifice of those before us while expressing his pride for the men and women in uniform today.

"Ten years ago we had an attack on our country here in the United States.

After ten years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, countless men and women have stepped forward to take the fight to the enemy," said Wofford.  "Today, the young men and women that are signing up - volunteering to join an all volunteer force - were probably only seven or eight years old when that attack occurred, but they too stepped forward. Today, we're building the next greatest generation."

Patriot Guard Rider Chaplain Jeff Hulsizer, who served as the master of ceremonies for the event, stressed the importance of "teaching" the value of freedom to our children with a quote from former President Ronald Reagan.

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction," Hulsizer quoted.  "We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

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