Each year, millions of Americans come together to remember the fallen, honor those that serve and their families, and teach the next generation about the value of freedom. Grover McMains, Larry and Darla Kinney, and more organized the effort to lay wreaths at St. Olaf’s Kirke (The Rock Church), Boggy and Cranfills cemeteries. As part of National Wreaths Across America day, community members, volunteers and patriots gathered across 50 states Saturday, December 19, to honor the memory of those that sacrificed a great deal for their country.
One participant and Cranfills Gap local, James A. Gibbs, contributed a Prisoner of War – Missing in Action flag for the Veterans Memorial at Wade Lee City Park. He provided a dedication ceremony once the group laid wreaths at the memorial.
I thought it’d be a honor to present a flag to them,” Gibbs said. “[The flag] started back in the Vietnam. There are 3,417 Texans that were killed, and some POWs. We’re down to 100 left that haven’t been found. They’ve found 56 since 1989 when it was dedicated by George H.W. Bush.”
Sharon Smoot of Sierra Blanca, a town about an hour east of El Paso, arrived to present an American flag for the cemeteries that didn’t have one. Her organization, Somewhere in Texas 2021, is working to meet the goal of delivering 2,021 flags across the state in 2021.
Approximately 310-320 wreaths were laid this year, versus 290 last year.” -Grover McMains, the Location Coordinator for Cranfills Gap and Sponsor Coordinator for all three cemeteries. “We’re very pleased that we have been able to cover all the veterans’ graves in all three cemeteries, which we’ve been doing for three years now.”
In 2019, approximately 2.2 million veteran wreaths were place on headstones at 2,158 locations. Visit Wreaths Across America for more information, and contact the Cranfills Gap Chamber of Commerce or City Hall to get involved. For more on the volunteers and dedications to these local veterans, listen in for the Monday, December 21 News Blast Podcast.