A big crowd was on hand to honor veterans Saturday for the 6th Family Wreath Day at the Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
Many had to park outside the gate of the cemetery as veterans’ families and veterans supporters turned out for what is now a holiday tradition.
Family Wreath Day sees Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Girls Scouts, along with local school students, and families of veterans who lie at rest at the cemetery, placing flags and wreaths at their headstones. It’s an effort to honor those veterans, but also an effort to reinforce to young people what they mean to the country.
The day began with a short ceremony and the raising of the flag to half-staff in honor of President George H. W. Bush, who passed away last week. The keynote address was given by World War II veteran, Commander Robert Spielman. Spielman is also a former WKRG advertising executive. Two more World War II Veterans were also recognized.
Organizer Margaret Coley told the crowd she had received a number of calls from families of the veterans who lie at rest at the cemetery, excited about the day, and looking forward to those who will be there to honor their relatives and their service to the nation.
Family Wreath Day coincided with another notable effort to honor veterans. For the first time, it took place on the same day as Wreaths Across America, the laying of wreaths for the holidays at the headstones of veterans at National Veterans Cemeteries nationwide.