At the Wreaths Across America event in Baton Rouge, six wreaths placed at the cemetery represented each branch of the military, and all prisoners of war and people missing in action.
The brief ceremony included a moment of silence for soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines past and present and the playing of taps by an American Legion Post 38 representative.
Janet Broussard, president of Louisiana Blue Star Mothers, said the ceremony provided the chance to take a few minutes during the busy holiday season and remember the sacrifices. Blue Star mothers, who date back to World War II, have sons and daughters in combat zones.
“We just want people to be aware there are so many people who have given their lives for our freedom,” Broussard said.
Broussard’s son, Lt. Mark St. Romain, is serving in Kuwait with the Louisiana Army National Guard’s 256th Infantry Brigade, and should be home either in May or October, she said.
Vicki Adams of Greenwell Springs, almost lost her son to the war in Iraq.
1st Lt. Jeffrey Adams, a soldier with the Louisiana Army National Guard 1088th Engineer Battalion, lost his leg two years ago.
Lt. Adams is home, but Vicki Adams said her son came too close to death.
“It’s something that’s been needed for a long time,” Vicki Adams said of the wreath-laying event, “to remind everybody that our freedom is because of others that served or are serving now.”
“It’s too easily forgotten when you’re in your every day routine,” she said.
Adams said she does not blame anyone for what happened to her son in Iraq.
“He wanted to help, for the children,” she said. “Those people have never known freedom.”
“Nobody likes war. It’s an ugly word,” Adams said, but “I don’t think the United States would have gotten where it is today without war.”
Ann Comeaux is a Gold Star mother, a designation for mothers who have lost children in combat. She plans to make the holiday season as normal as possible. She’ll take flowers to her son’s grave Christmas Day.
“I wish they could have come home yesterday,” Comeaux said of the troops still in the Middle East. “But, it’s impossible.”
She said she understands that the fight against the terrorists is necessary.
“They’re fighting to help the people in Iraq,” she said. “We don’t want our soldiers’ lives to be in vain.”
Speaking as a mother, and not in her role as a Blue Star mother, Broussard said, she understands that the situation in Iraq is not ideal.
“I think people need to stop with the negative comments and get behind the troops, get behind the president,” Broussard said.
People who say they support the soldiers, but not the war, “they send the wrong message to our troops when they make those comments,” she said.
Support Our Troops!
Do not forget about them as the holidays come near!
Check out the Wreaths Across America Website.