Letterkenny wreath ceremony honors fallen military

December 07, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH |
  • State Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York, speaks during Tuesday's Wreaths Across America presentation at Letterkenny Army Depot near Chambersburg, Pa.
Colleen McGrath

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — As taps echoed from a bugle, the wind picked up Tuesday morning and snapped American flags hanging above Letterkenny Army Depot’s headquarters.

The depot hosted “Wreaths Across America” on Tuesday, the 69th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. A convoy of tractor-trailers delivered two wreaths to honor fallen members of the military.

In saying a prayer for the wreaths and those who had gathered in the frigid cold, the Rev. William Harter said the greens of the wreaths represent life eternal and their circles are not broken.

State Sen. Richard Alloway, R-Franklin/Adams/York, talked about how the program started when a family laid 5,000 wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992. It now includes more than 60,000 volunteers and 100,000 wreaths a year.

“Our nation has paid a dear price to protect freedom and make the world a safer place, and we must never forget the individual and collective sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have endured to protect the principles and values that make America the greatest country in the world,” Alloway said.


Shippensburg, Pa., resident Timothy Wright brought a wall that bears the name of mid-Atlantic servicemen and women who died in the current wars. He included people from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Letterkenny’s soldiers turned and saluted the wall at least once during the ceremony. Some took pictures of it.

After the ceremony, Wright spoke with and embraced another man as they looked at the names. Both had tears in their eyes.

Wright’s friend from Halifax, Pa., built a tribute wall, and Wright said he felt he should do the same. The wall on its 14-foot trailer now travels to parades and special events.

“Every day I put a name on there, I pray it’s the last one,” said Wright, who served 33 years with the Army’s military police.

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