Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Veterans Honored During Wreaths Across America Ceremony

Members of Squadron 150 participated in a Wreaths Across America ceremony on 17 December, 2016 held at Pacific View Memorial Park in Corona Del Mar, California. Wreaths Across America is a nationwide project to, "Remember our fallen U.S. Veterans. Honor those who serve. Teach children the value of freedom." through placing live wreaths on the graves of Veterans.

Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Pacific View Memorial Park
(Photo Courtesy: 2d Lt. Rommel Anacan)
Wreaths Across America began as a small project to place wreaths at graves in Arlington National Cemetery and it has expanded in a decade to include ceremonies in over one thousand locations nationwide. Civil Air Patrol has been a vital partner of Wreaths Across America for ten years and our squadron was proud to have taken part in the ceremony.

Squadron 150 Deputy Commander 2d Lt. Rommel Anacan, CAP gave a few remarks during the ceremony during which he said,

"While the members of Civil Air Patrol all come from different backgrounds, we have different experiences and our own different motivations for choosing to be a part of Civil Air Patrol, the one thing that unites all of us is our deep appreciation, admiration and respect for the men and women who are serving and who have served in our nation’s armed forces…and to their families and loved ones who have supported them in their service."

After the 30-minute ceremony Squadron 150 members joined other volunteers in placing wreaths on Veteran's graves. SM Steven Schock, whose father served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and is now interred at Pacific View said this about the Wreaths Across America ceremony...

"I was very fortunate to have my family with me...When I think of veterans I default to thinking of World War II because that was the war my father was engaged with. But the ceremony did a wonderful job of pointing out our veterans go back to the Revolutionary War and include veterans returning from the Middle East today.  We owe them lots.  Wreaths Across America is a great way to show the respect that our veterans have earned defending our country and freedom.

Placing a Christmas Wreath at my father's grave and spending time there with my family and squadron mates was a great day.  And it was extra special talking with (fellow squadron member) Maj. Alexander Smith and hearing some his experiences during World War II in the Aleutian Islands. (My family) commented to me later as to how much they enjoyed their time with Major Smith.  Isn't that what this was all about? Different generations spending time together sharing stories so we don't forget the sacrifices our veterans have made."

The Gravesite of Bill and Betty Schock. Bill Schock served in the US Army Air Corps.
(Photo Credit: 2d Lt. Rommel Anacan)
Our squadron was honored and privileged to be a part of Wreaths Across America ceremonies in 2016 and we look forward to being a part of it again in 2017!