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Deceased veterans remembered at Athens Cemetery

Athens Daily Review - 12/17/2019

Dec. 17--Athens Cemetery was one many memorial sites in the United States to serve as a location for a Wreaths Across America observance on Saturday.

There are veterans buried in the cemetery who served in wars dating back to 1832.

Jim and Patti Curtis of LaRue, set out to establish an effort in Henderson County this year. Their goal was to obtain more than 500 wreaths, Patti Curtis said they exceeded that number.

Thank you for gathering with us today," Patti Curtis told the crowd who'd come out to participate in placing the wreaths. "Right now, across this country are more than 1,700 memorial sites like this one. We are gathered as one nation to remember, honor and teach."

Father Nolan Lowry of St. Edward's Catholic Church offered a blessing and a prayer for those who fought and their families. He also read a passage from 1 Thessalonians "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise."

Special wreaths were laid at the Veterans Memorial at the cemetery in honor of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine. Another wreath was presented remembering 93,129 military personnel whose last status was prisoner of war or missing in action.

The participants placing the wreaths were asked to say aloud the name of the veteran buried in the grave.

"We're not here to decorate graves but to remember lives," Patti Curtis said.

Though cool and a bit windy, the weather for the Athens Cemetery ceremony was blessed with good weather for mid December.

The ceremony was part of a nationwide effort that began more than 25 years ago. Wreaths Across America members traditionally lay wreaths on the second Saturday in December.

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