Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 991 provided a color guard to the first Wreaths Across America ceremony ever held in Palestine, Texas. More than 150 local residents and veterans gathered Dec. 15 to honor fallen heroes.
Schoolchildren led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance after an invocation from Pastor Dan Manuel. Benjamin Rhone, a local undertaker, was named Wreaths Across America coordinator for Anderson County.
“I am truly honored to be the Anderson County coordinator for Wreaths Across America,” Rhone said. “We have a hundred wreaths to lay today. Our goal in the future is to ensure the grave of every veteran in Anderson and the surrounding counties eventually get a wreath.”
Rod Skelton, a former Marine and a combat veteran of Vietnam, keynoted the event, which was held simultaneously with other Wreaths Across America events nationwide. “Every one of those fellas is in a cemetery somewhere,” he told the Palestine Herald-Press. I like knowing that wherever they are, a wreath is being laid at their gravesite.”