Mint Hill American Legion Post 555 holds first Wreath Laying Ceremony

Independence AFJROTC Cadets who participated in the ceremony. (Paul Imirie)
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Post 555 Commander presents a wreath to Indy AFJROTC Cadet to be laid. (LTC Jeffrey Jenkins)
Independence JROTC Cadet receives wreath to be laid. (Paul Imirie)
Cadets and guests arriving for the ceremony. (Paul Imirie)
During the ceremony. (Paul Imirie)
The veterans monument at Sunset Memory Gardens. (Paul Imirie)
Post 555 Commander and Lt. Colonel Jenkins pay tribute. (Paul Imirie)

The newly established Mint Hill American Legion Post 555 “Triple Nickel” held its first “Wreath Laying Ceremony at Sunset Memory Gardens recently.

We remember those who have served this great nation during conflict and peacetime. Our veterans come from all backgrounds in life to wear the uniform and take an oath to serve honorably, with devotion to duty, and courage, against all enemies foreign and domestic. They are the defenders of our freedoms and at a local cemetery, we have well over 2000 veterans who have been laid to their final resting place.

During the holiday season, there is no better time to express our gratitude and appreciation to those who have served and to honor their sacrifice. We also want to let the family members know we will never forget their loved ones.

It is also a teaching moment for our youth. This type of ceremony touches schools, JROTC programs, scouts, civic and religious groups while setting a positive example of respecting those who are no longer with us who served, made a difference, protected our freedoms, and became part of something larger than themselves.

They were once young, had dreams, wanted to change the world, some made the ultimate sacrifice, while others became husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and good citizens. They set the example for others to follow in their footsteps.

Mint Hill American Legion Post 555 wants to start a new tradition. They plan to lay eight wreaths annually in a brief ceremony going forward. The eight wreaths represent all the different locations at the cemetery where the veterans are laid to rest.  In fact, the legionnaires would like to expand next year’s program with Wreaths Across America. This would be a much larger undertaking that will require donations and fundraising through the community, families, individuals, businesses and other sponsors who would like to participate and support such an ambitious mission to Mint Hill.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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