Honor veterans during the holidays

Published 11:38am Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Earlier this week, Shelby County — along with the rest of the nation — celebrated Veterans Day.

Different organizations across the county held celebrations. Perhaps the largest celebration was the one held at American Village, which hosted a salute to veterans and allowed veterans and active military to get in free.

Throughout the day, American Village workers also performed special Veterans Day ceremonies, which included the ringing of bells to honor veterans and active members of the military.

Melanie Poole with the American Village said that Village employees strive to teach attendees to remember “the price of liberty.”

“One of our goals is remembering the price of liberty and teaching children about liberty,” Poole said. “Part of that is military service, and we try to tell that story.”

We agree completely. Our active military members and our veterans truly understand what it costs to remain a free country. We appreciate places like the American Village that strive to make sure we remember how so many have paid the ultimate sacrifice so the vast majority of Americans can enjoy our daily lives without needing to question our basic human rights.

The Blue Star Salute Foundation is also working to honor those veterans who have passed on by participating in Wreaths Across America, which provides a fresh balsam wreath for every veteran’s grave at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo.

This is a beautiful way to honor those veterans, and when the wreaths are placed, it’s a stunning sight. But the Blue Star Salute Foundation needs help in reaching its goal.

According to Glenn Nivens, secretary for the foundation, sponsorships had been received for 1,555 wreaths as of Nov. 3. Wreaths are needed for a total of 2,700 gravesites, so sponsorships are still needed for more than 1,100 wreaths.

The deadline for the foundation to order wreaths is Nov. 20, so there’s still time, but sponsorships for needed wreaths must happen quickly. The cost to sponsor a wreath is $15. Checks should be mailed to BSSFI for Wreaths Across America, P.O. Box 203, Harpersville, AL 35078.

If you’re able, consider sponsoring a wreath and helping to honor veterans this holiday season.

The editorial is the opinion of the Shelby County Reporter editorial board.

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