Letter to the editor: Thanks for a successful Wreaths Across America
As we reflect on the first Wreaths Across America at Ridgeland Cemetery and start planning for the 2018 ceremony, we wanted to say thank you to so many for making the day memorable.
There were many wreath donors that ensured we had a wreath for every veteran grave. There are too many to name and some wish to remain anonymous. Please know your donations were recognized and greatly appreciated.
Over 30 volunteers braved the early morning cold to place wreaths on the graves. We are thankful for your patience and persistence as we worked through our first wreath laying.
You were all fantastic and were quickly self sufficient.
Our speakers and honored guests were gracious in sharing this moment with us.
Thank you Joey Malphrus, Mary Cope, Allen Kupfer, Arnold Rosen, Marty Sauls, pastor Al Shifflet, and pastor Larry Scott.
The Sun City Veterans Association Color Guard was magnificent in the presentation of colors. They met with us many times to work out the process and ceremony. Taps, as played by Chris Cushman, was beautiful and filled the air to conclude the moment.
The ceremonial wreath laying was a special part of the ceremony. We were honored to have some of our veterans and their families participate: 1st Sgt Tripp Rentz (wreaths bearer), Tommy Rhodes, Conrad Hartz, Jeff Heisel, Freddie Nimmer, Derris Davenport, Mike Mingledorff, Frankie Denmark, Sam Lawton, and Leland McCormack.
Attendees saw a cohesive production due to the people and companies that embraced our goal and assisted in making the ceremony comfortable and smooth.
Although you may not have seen them or heard them, they made everything flow.
Thomas Heyward Academy students, Boy Scout Troop 243, Lee Logan Aviation, Ronnie Reynolds Sound, Degler Waste Service, Lowcountry Golf Carts, Vaigneur Funeral Home, Ridgeland Baptist Church, Morris Center for Lowcountry Heritage, Sauls Funeral Home, Randy Vaigneur, Brandon Mingledorff, Allo Cervantes, and the Town of Ridgeland.
And, finally, a special thanks to the Jasper County Sun Times for the wonderful coverage given to the Wreaths Across America committee efforts.
Thank you for remembering the fallen, honoring those who serve and their families, and teaching our children the value of freedom.
Mark your calendar for next year’s ceremony: December 15, 2018.
Wreaths Across America
Ridgeland Cemetery Volunteer Committee
L. Martin Sauls, III
Brenda Thomas Reiser
Mary Wallace Berry