Wreaths Across America Honors Fallen Soldiers

By: Deborah Tuff Email
By: Deborah Tuff Email

A tough memory for Jim Vareckja.

"I was in Vietnam, every Christmas, I managed to make it back, but there were a lot of soldiers that didn't," Vareckja said.

And those who stayed behind, they dealt with the elements.

"It was a bad situation in the jungle. It was usually wet this time of year because of monsoons - it was just miserable, " he said.

Eventually, some of those soldiers made it back to their families permanently, others died in battle.

During the holidays, it's especially difficult for loved ones of those fallen soldiers.

In their hearts, they deal with a battle of their own.

"It's rough for families to not have their loves one with them during the holiday celebration," Jim's wife Linda said.

Enter, Wreaths Across America At Wyuka. The national program, has ties in Lincoln. Fallen soldiers are remembered, and honored.

The groups symbol is simple - a wreath.

"With the 20 inch green wreaths and the red, velveteen, bow next to the white, marble monument, it is beautiful," Wreaths Across America at Wyuka Publicity Coordinator Diane Bartels said.

There are 643 wreaths that will be laid across soldiers graves. Organizers say its moments like this that help families know their loved ones may be gone, but not forgotten.

During a moment of silence and tearful reflections, the national anthem filled the, Warner Chamber Halls, the memories of soldiers -- alive.

The Wreaths Across America at Wyuka Ceremony will be held, Saturday, December 10 at 11 AM.

Organizers ask the public to enter the Vine Street Entrance.

Wreaths will be laid at 16 other Nebraska cemeteries, including Nebraska Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Grand Island.

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