Wreaths Across America In Evansville

Evansville, Wyoming - The third Saturday of December is Wreaths Across America day. Over a million wreaths will lay on the graves of fallen soldiers. In Evansville, for the first time, every soldier buried in the Veterans Cemetery has a wreath for Christmas.

“Driving in and seeing how far the cars were parked back at 9:20 this morning, I was just like wow,” said Bonnie Foster the interim president of Natrona County Republican Women.

The weather, snowy and bris, but that doesn't deter volunteers from laying wreaths on nearly 3 thousand graves. In fact the snow, making the wreaths stand out.

“Oh my goodness, it's hard to comprehend until you actually walk out the door and take a look,” said guest speaker Pat Thomas.

Even State Representative Liz Cheney embraced the snow, placing the green circles of love and appreciation on the graves of her grandparents.

“It was very very special,” said Representative Cheney. “My daughter is here with me, one of my daughters. We were able to go out and one of the things they encourage you to do is say the names of the veterans.”

Thousands of names were said aloud all over the country. Remembering that they were more than just soldiers. They were brothers, sisters, moms, and dads. Senator John Barrasso, sharing an anecdote of a colleague from a Veterans Day service in Washington D.C.

“One of my medical partners here in Casper, Jerry Barrins was there to read the names from almost 50 years ago. One was one of his medics that was killed in a firefight,” said Sen. Barrasso. “Jerry survived, and he was there reading the name of his friend the medic with a woman who was that man’s daughter. It was the daughter of the man who died had never met. She had never met her father. Shes 50 years old now.”

Many members of the Patriot Guard Riders Of Wyoming came out to pass out wreaths, place them, and pay their respects.

“I’ve been working on this for 3 years, trying to get wreaths out to the cemetery for every grave. This year we ended up with 26 hundred 92 wreaths,” said Richard Parks the Wyoming state captain of the Patriot Guard Riders. “I don't know if you notice but my glasses get kinda dark. It’s very nice because people can't see the tears. Even now it's an emotional feeling for me to see people come out to honor my brothers, my sisters that are laying out here. Friends that I lost in Vietnam.”

The wreaths make it across state lines thanks to the many drivers in the trucking industry. The wreaths here in Evansville arrived from Saint Louis Missouri. Driven by a man who knows a thing or two about patriotism and honoring fallen soldiers.

“It’s the biggest honor of all because I'm ex-British Military, and it was an honor for me to do it for the United States Military,” said Raymond McLear.

Original Air Date:  12/16/17