With the holidays closing in and the year ending soon, volunteers and families make an effort to honor local veterans according to a Star Local Media article from December 24 which reports,
“Part of being in the service is that you will leave no one behind,” said Larry Wilhelm, color guard captain for Frisco-based American Legion Post 178, “and part of leaving no one behind is making sure that they will always be remembered.”
It’s an instruction provided to each volunteer and an essential part of Wreaths Across America, a national effort to honor and remember veterans during the holiday season by placing wreaths on their graves. This year, over 48,000 wreaths were placed at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery as part of the 2021 effort.
On Dec. 17, volunteers, including veterans from American Legion Post 178, helped unload about 8,000 boxes of wreaths. They then helped place over 48,000 wreaths during a Dec. 18 ceremony.
“It was outstanding as always,” Post 178 Commander Delbert Parsons said. “It’s hard to describe the feeling with the event they put on and then to be able to place the wreaths mostly on graves of people we don’t know, particularly. But it’s a great mood, and there were tons of people out there again this year, so that was great to see.”
The American Legion is a nonprofit organization which is the support system of those who served in the armed forces of the nation according to a Community Impact article from November 10. In it they say,
The nation’s largest network of wartime veterans, American Legion has 12,000 posts across the United States, according to the American Legion website.
Frisco is home to Post 178, one of the largest in Texas that serves Frisco and surrounding communities, including McKinney and Plano. Each post’s goal is to serve community veterans through financial aid, advocacy and other forms of support. Among the many programs, the post provides the Color and Honor Guard at community events, mentors youth and advocates for patriotism and citizenship, per the website.
“Our membership is our lifeblood,” Rogers said. “We’ve grown from 15 members when we started in January 2014 to more than 600 members today who represent all branches of service and all wartime eras since [World War II].”
Since the pandemic is still ongoing, a lot of families and friends are unable to personally put down flowers or wreaths to honor and remember their loved ones. However, an initiative of the American Legion called Wreaths Across America is also ongoing which ensures that the veterans buried will still get wreaths and of course, will still be honored.