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Goshen Veterans Cemetery Filled With Families & Friends at the Wreaths Across America Ceremony

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

After kneeling to pray and lay a wreath, a man salutes a grave, possibly

that of a son, while balancing on a carved cane and clutching the Wreaths Across America tag signifying that once again he had laid a wreath in remembrance.

Hundreds came to Remember, Honor, and Teach

Chrisstian Farrell describes why "Wreaths Across America " is so important.

A father, teaching his young scout sons about service, and its potential cost.

Goshen's Director of the Veterans Service Agency, Christian Farrell, spoke to the hundreds who came to this year's Wreaths Across America Ceremony, saying that the event has three main purposes; to remember those whose served our country and defended our freedoms, to honor them and their work, and to teach the young the importance of service and "protecting our freedoms no matter what the cost." The crowded Park was so filled that side roads within a mile in each direction were lined with cars, in addition to the many shuttle runs that brought people to and from the Orange County Government Center throughout the early afternoon. The people who came were quite a mix, but still showed a tight community bond for their shared memories of loss. The greatest number of those present was older adults from 70's to 90's accompanied by family, and many requiring some assistance walking across the lawn, some finding a place to rest on one of the concrete benches provided for those who visit the Park's loved ones throughout the year.

Brother, friend, father, wife All have lost some.

Two ladies assist a third who was struggling, and help her to a bench.

Then there was a JROTC Honor Guard, veterans wearing, jackets that showed they were Vietnam Veterans, and Nam Knights, Boy and Girl Scouts, parents who still mourn loss of their children, and families with young children beginning to understand both the great rewards and the heavy cost of a life of service. One gentleman who faced somewhat of a challenge walking with a cane then kneeled at a grave (photo above), possibly of a son, with the Wreaths Across America tag tightly clenched in his left fist as a palpable memory of yet another bereavement event. Not only did he kneel at the grave, in a touching moment after a prayer he stood with the help of his cane and saluted the individual in the grave.

Each member of the ROTC was given a wreath to place in honor of each branh of service: Army,Navy, Marines, Coastguard and still unaccounted for Prisoners of War.

Cristian Farrell turned over the podium to Dave Andryshak, who operates and maintains the cemetery. He described the amount of planning and work it took getting the Park and wreaths ready. This was especially true when they discovered that there was an entire section of graves that there was not enough wreaths for. Not sure what they could do about it, he called Alders, a wholesale florist in Campbell Hall and asked Heidi Smith if there was anything she could do to help. He laughed and said "She told me she'd call me back". Not only did she call him back, but they were delivered the next day.

He asked one thing of those in attendance, "Look around you, and make 1 friend here today."

This young lady's acket is already covered in service badges.

Therapy dog "William" was here in case someone needed extra support.



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