Herriman veterans remembered in wreath-laying ceremonyJan 05, 2024 10:05AM ● By Elisa Eames
Nearly 170 veterans have been laid to rest in the Herriman City Cemetery. (Elisa Eames/City Journals)
The City of Herriman hosted a wreath-laying ceremony at the Herriman City Cemetery on Dec. 16 to honor U.S. military veterans interred there.
“In many homes across the U.S., every day there is an empty seat for one who is serving, or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Herriman’s website observes. “To honor that sacrifice, Herriman City and its Veterans and Military Advisory Committee proudly sponsor the Wreaths Across America program at the Herriman City Cemetery.”
Kimberly Lambert, a liaison to Herriman’s Veterans and Military Advisory Committee, marked this year as her third assisting with the ceremony. “I very quickly became a big fan of this event. It feels like such a privilege to participate,” she said. “I get a little emotional each year as the wreaths are placed and I think of the sacrifices made by those who have served in our country.”
As part of National Wreaths Across America Day, over two million advocates and volunteers assembled on Dec. 16 to place wreaths on the graves of veterans at over 4,000 locations across the country.
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is threefold: “Remember the fallen. Honor those who serve. Teach the next generation the value of freedom.” WAA offers a number of programs supporting veterans. The first wreath-laying ceremony began over 25 years ago at Arlington National Cemetery, including an individualized ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. In 2005, the practice began to spread across the nation and WAA was founded in 2007. Wreath-laying ceremonies take place before Christmas and aim to remember and recognize veterans as well as raise awareness about issues they face.
“This is one of our best events,” Mayor Lorin Palmer said. “It’s a great chance to recognize our veterans and honor them and reflect back on our history of the original residents in Herriman who served our country.”
During wreath-laying ceremonies, attendees are reverent as they recall memories of their loved ones. “When a volunteer places a wreath on a veteran's grave on National Wreaths Across America Day, it is encouraged that they speak that veteran's name aloud, thank them for their service and sacrifice, and reflect on that person and their life,” the WAA website states. On Dec. 16, the commemoration in Herriman began at 10 a.m. with a flag ceremony and the singing of the National Anthem, after which Herriman City Councilmember Steven Shields offered a few words. Visitors then began laying their wreaths.
“This [is] my second opportunity to participate…,” Shields said. “There are few things that in life give me more satisfaction than to… honor and remember our veterans and military members. As the son and grandson of military servicemen, I have the utmost respect and reverence for the service that our military members render on our behalf.”
Every year, residents are encouraged to sponsor a wreath for one of the 167 veterans laid to rest in the city cemetery. Sponsorships began at $17. Money raised is first applied to the cost of the wreath and then goes toward funding for wreaths the following year.
Anthony Teuscher, deputy director of Parks, Recreation and Events, appreciates the city’s efforts to recognize its veterans. “I feel like the Wreaths Across America ceremony has been an amazing addition to our cemetery,” he commented. “It gives the community another opportunity to commemorate and honor the brave men and women who served our country.” λ