In touching tributes that played out at cemeteries across the country, the nation paused for a moment on Dec. 15 to remember its fallen military veterans through Wreaths Across America.
An estimated 2 million wreaths were laid on the gravestones of military veterans, including more than 30,000 at the Florida military cemetery in Bushnell.
Thousands arrived to Bushnell early, on a cloudy, windy day, to take part in the annual ceremony.
The wreaths arrived in semi-trailer trucks.
People traveled there on motorcycles and in cars. They came as members of veterans organizations, civic clubs, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. There were family members and friends of the veterans being honored.
The crowd lined the narrow streets, as the escorted semi-trucks made their way to different sections of the 512-acre cemetery — delivering more than 30,000 wreaths to be placed at the headstones of veterans.
A ceremony was held at 11:45 a.m., with the presentation of colors, the placing of the POW/MIA table, the posting of ceremonial wreaths and other ceremonial touches.
Keynote speaker Maj. Gen. Michael E. Langley, of U.S. Central Command, spoke about the nation’s veterans, and their fortitude and willingness to serve.
The playing of “Taps” concluded the service.
The event was hosted by Wreaths Across America Bushnell and U.S. Military Vets MC.
Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell is off Interstate 75, about one hour north of Land O’ Lakes.
By Randy Underhill
Published December 19, 2018