Wreaths Across America—A Day of Remembrance

Volunteers Ellyn Biggs, Don Avila, Cynthia Avila, Linda Nicholson, Cliff Terry, and Kathy and Jerry Meyer

Linda Nicholson

In December, SaddleBrooke Ranch residents participated in laying Christmas wreaths on veterans’ graves at Evergreen Cemetery in Tucson. The annual event to honor veterans was held on Saturday morning, Dec. 17.

The morning was sunny and clear but with a crispness in the air. Enjoying some coffee, donuts, and fellowship, close to 50 volunteers across Tucson gathered for the ceremony and laying of the wreaths. SaddleBrooke Ranch was represented by Ellyn Biggs, Cliff Terry, Jerry and Kathy Meyer, Rebecca Call, and Linda Nicholson. SaddleBrooke residents Cynthia and Don Avila also participated.

The ceremony began with the posting of the colors by the Sons of the American Revolution in their period dress. Rebecca Call, SaddleBrooke Ranch resident, also participated in the parade with the Daughters of the American Revolution. Joseph Morgan, member of the American Patriot Memorial, sang the national anthem while the volunteers stood with hands over hearts. Following the invocation by Mike Dyer, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Sheron Jones greeted the volunteers and introduced the speakers. Major (Ret.) Erika Jaramillo gave a touching speech on the freedoms we enjoy and the price paid by our veterans. Retired Command Sergeant Major Michael Bartelle presented the Army Coin to Sheron Jones in recognition of her honor and service to veterans. Following the retirement of the colors and playing of “Taps,” the volunteers dispersed to lay wreaths. Taking one wreath at a time, the volunteers each stopping a moment to say the veteran’s name and offer gratitude for their sacrifice as they lay the wreath on the grave.

For the last nine years, SaddleBrooke Ranch residents have significantly contributed to the growth of this program. In 2022, through the patriotism and generosity of our community, $3,550 was raised through donations and the purchase of raffle tickets.

Thank you to Sheron Jones, president of the Tucson Gold Star Mothers, for her many hours in support of Wreaths Across America, and to our many generous Ranch residents who support this program and volunteer to lay wreaths at any veterans cemetery.