I’m proud to be part of a community in Galveston that honors its heroes. Whether it’s former Constable Clint Wayne Brown playing “Taps” as an entire cruise ship spontaneously applauds this past Veterans Day, or Cmdr. Michael Caballero leading the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 880, Galveston has a special way of ensuring our veterans aren’t forgotten.

Organizing last year’s Wreaths Across America event has taught me a lesson I will never forget. I first learned about the event after being chosen to lay a wreath at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier on my seventh-grade trip to Washington.

It inspired me to do my part and honor the great men and women who have served and are serving our nation. What I’ve learned is that we all need to take time and not just say thank you, but show our gratitude and respect to our veterans and their families for the sacrifices they make.

Shaking the hand of a World War II veteran and thanking a family friend for his service in Vietnam made me realize how appreciative they were of such a small gesture. They deserve so much more. I think everyone in attendance that day felt what I did. It’s hard to put into words the feeling I felt, but I know I felt a sense of deep gratitude and respect for our veterans.

We all took the time to dust off an old grave and say that veterans name aloud. This is the least we can do to show our appreciation.

Dec. 15 is National Wreaths Across America Day, when communities across the nation gather to remember our fallen, honor those who serve, and teach younger generations the value of freedom.

This is the second year that Lakeview Cemetery in Galveston will participate in this national event. The goal: to place a live, balsam fir wreath at the headstone of every veteran buried at Lakeview and spread patriotism and commemoration for the ultimate sacrifices they made for our country.

With the support of J. Levy & Termini Funeral Home, Ball High School’s Junior ROTC cadets and cheerleaders, and Flying Fortress CrossFit, over 100 wreaths were placed in 2017. This year, 300 wreaths will be placed, and we need volunteers. Join us at 11 a.m. Dec. 15 at Lakeview Cemetery at 3015 57th St. in Galveston.

This year’s theme is “Be Their Witness.” For more information and to volunteer, visit https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/ or email andrew_farrant@me.com.

Andrew Farrant lives in Galveston.

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(2) comments

Matt Fleming

Today is Mom's birthday - she would have been 87. With her passing 2 years ago, we are still working on her possessions. One of the items found in the old garage in a cardboard sleeve was the brass marker for our step-grandfather, Harry Hennix. It's uncertain why the marker was never set and our remaining family was never sure of the grave site. An internet search located a Galveston News archive with the obituary that mentioned Lakeview. Mom and Dad loved Galveston so today I set out with the marker to go to the island and see if I could find the grave site. While I could not physically identify the site, I contacted the J Levy & Termini Funeral Home that owns the cemetery and they confirmed the location. They suggested I contact Bennett Monument Company to set the marker. Mr. Bennett is out of town and returns next week. I left the marker with them and hope to have the marker in place before December 15. Dad's birthday is December 3. A fitting birthday gift to my wonderful parents. Happy Birthday to you both - you are missed. And to Harry, the burly Swede that could crank out tunes on an accordion and a true salt of the sea - rest in peace. Thank you for your service to our country.

Ginger Farrant

Such a beautiful tribute. We are placing flags to mark the Veterans graves the day before the ceremony and we will look for the marker. It will be an honor to place a wreath on his grave.

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