Home News Local News Roswell honors military with Wreaths Across America tribute

Roswell honors military with Wreaths Across America tribute

Marine representatives, Cody Overcash, left, and Arlie Cates, stand by the wreath honoring their branch of the military while members of the New Mexico National Guard Honor Guard watch during the Saturday Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Gen. Douglas L. McBride Veterans Cemetery. Seven wreaths in honor of each military branch and Prisoners of War-Missing in Action were placed during the local event, one of about 1,400 scheduled to occur in the United States and at U.S. sites abroad. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

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U.S. citizens live in a society founded on the ideals of justice, equality and freedom, one that works to give freedoms and provide opportunities, said Tony Clayton, master of ceremonies of a local Wreaths Across America ceremony Saturday morning held to honor soldiers who gave their lives, as well as all military members, past and present.

Members of the Southeast New Mexico chapter of the Patriot Guards ride south on Main Street Saturday morning, making their way from Pioneer Plaza to the Gen. Douglas L. McBride Veterans Cemetery, as part of the local Wreaths Across America ceremony. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

“Today we show a united front of national unity all across the United States of America and around the world for all our military,” Clayton said, “and to teach our children the value of freedom.”

The local commemoration, one of about 1,400 ceremonies planned in the United States and U.S. sites abroad this December, began at New Mexico Military Institute on Dec. 11 in the school’s Alumni Chapel.

On Saturday morning, members of the Southeast New Mexico chapter of the Patriot Guard Riders, as well as other veteran bike clubs, gathered at the Pioneer Plaza on downtown Main Street and escorted the wreaths and flags to the Gen. Douglas L. McBride Veterans Cemetery, part of South Park Cemetery.

At the cemetery during a ceremony timed to coincide with other events worldwide, City Councilor Juan Oropesa read a city of Roswell proclamation in honor of veterans and current military, the Veterans Honor Guard presented the colors, Tom Blake sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Some Gave All,” and representatives of all branches of the military presented wreaths bedecked with red bows and U.S. and military flags.

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As the ceremony came to a close, a Veterans Honor Guard played “Taps” while New Mexico National Guard’s Honor Guard fired rifles in memory of fallen soldiers and veteran Robert Thompson performed “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.

Earlier Clayton had said a few words in honor of his father, Army veteran Anthony C. Spall, and encouraged attendees to learn more about the contributions of veterans in their families and those buried at the cemetery.

“We thank those who gave their lives to keep us free,” said Clayton. “We shall never forget you.”