Wreaths on gravesites
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Wreaths Across America — an annual effort to “remember, honor and teach” — serves as an opportunity to recognize our military heroes that sacrificed so much for America.

All around our country, wreaths are placed on graves to support the organization’s mission. This past year, National Wreaths Across America Day fell on Dec. 19.

Destin, located in the Florida panhandle on the “Emerald Coast,” hosted wreath-laying ceremonies at two cemeteries. Representatives from each branch of military service placed wreaths on the graves of one of their own.

The U.S. Navy representative was none other than Seaman Shawn Purvis, a 2004 graduate of Philomath High School. Purvis is the son of Lori Vandewettering, of Philomath, and Jerry Purvis, of Corvallis.

Purvis placed the wreath in honor of all who have served in the Navy on the grave of William Louis Mundy, who served in Korea, the Destin Log newspaper reported. The sentry present was Sgt. Dominick Casanova, of Vallejo, California.

Here in Oregon, approximately 5,000 wreaths were placed on gravesites at Willamette National Cemetery. Ceremonies are also held at other locations in the state.

(Brad Fuqua is publisher/editor of the Philomath News. He can be reached at News@PhilomathNews.com).