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Remembering them with a wreath

Members of Oxford American Legion Post 108 laid wreaths before white crosses representing each branch of the service and all those soldiers listed as MIAs and POWs. (click for larger version)
December 15, 2010 - Beneath the frozen ground they slumber in silence as yet another year draws to a close.

Some died on foreign soil fighting for our country.

Others passed away peacefully in their warm beds many years after they answered the call to duty.

Though none of them are here to celebrate another Christmas with their families and friends, they are not forgotten.

On Saturday, Ridgelawn Memorial Cemetery in Oxford hosted its second annual Wreaths Across America event.

Braving the bitter cold, local Cub Scouts from Pack 4 placed wreaths by the graves of servicemen and women who fought in conflicts ranging from World War I to Vietnam.

"The freedoms we enjoy today have not come without a price," said Oxford Village President Teri Stiles, who spoke at the ceremony. "Lying here before us, and in cemeteries throughout this nation, are men and women who gave their lives so that we can live in freedom without fear."

Money for the wreaths was raised by Boy Scout Troop 366.

Local veterans from Oxford American Legion Post 108 participated in the ceremony by laying wreaths in front of five white crosses symbolizing each branch of the United States Armed Forces.

A sixth wreath was placed before a cross representing all those soldiers whose last known status was either "missing in action" or "prisoner of war."

"To every soldier out there, I say thank you," said Loretta Acheson, who organized the event with her husband, Chris Acheson. "Our mission is to remember, honor and teach. Remember our fallen. Honor our veterans and their families. And teach our children the sacrifices that are made for our freedom."

Fortunately, the kids were listening.

"I'm grateful for all the stuff that they did to make this country free," said Max Holland, a member of Cub Scout Pack 4 and third-grader at Lakeville Elementary.

CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.
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