PSU holds annual Wreaths Across America dedication ceremony

And although the pandemic may have changed the way the ceremony looked, it didn’t change the meaning behind it.
Wreaths Across America

PITTSBURG, Ks. – Each December, Wreaths Across America Day is observed as a way to remember, honor, and teach.

“What distinguishes this from Memorial Day, which is memory of our veterans and so on, and Veterans Day is honor of our veterans who are still serving, it’s really more a teaching opportunity for the public and to the younger generations of the sacrifices for those who have given their lives and those who are still serving” said US Army Captain, Erick Leon.

As part of the national observance day, Pittsburg State University held its own dedication ceremony at the Veterans Memorial.

Captain Leon brought his own kids to attend.

“The force behind it is to teach the younger generation, I mean my son is here, my little daughter is here as well, and for them to experience and to understand what it is to sacrifice for this nation, what it is to see a person in uniform and what exactly do they do, you know the sacrifices they give.”

The ceremony did look different this year. Typically, it sees around 50-100 in attendance, but this year that was reduced to more than half because of the pandemic.

“We actually do have our awesome technology these days so it’s not too much of a burden on us. At times, it’s actually a benefit to put this online we reach more people than we used to” added Captain Leon.

And although the pandemic may have changed the way the ceremony looked, it didn’t change the meaning behind it.

Richard Fulton represented the US Air Force in the hanging of the wreaths, but he was also there to remember his friends he had lost.

“They are both listed on panel 48 and were killed in action in January of 1968, they also were journalists ,and so I’m very pleased to have this opportunity to remember them in a public forum and also remember them in a private way by hanging the wreaths.”

The same goes for Ed Fox who represented the Navy.

“There’s one of my good buddies, his name is on the wall down here, Stephen Benefield. I think about him quite often, he was never recovered, so, it kind-of hits you right here.”

The ceremony was also recorded and posted on Facebook to allow more people to watch it.