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Great Salt Lake

Wreaths Across America

Every December since 2008, thousands of volunteers have participated in the Wreaths Across America program, placing millions of wreaths on veterans’ graves. In 2022, I joined with over 100 people at a nearby Cemetery for this annual ceremony. It was a bitterly wintry morning with nearby canyon winds bringing the windchill temperature into single digits. I noticed many parents struggling to keep their little children warm, as instructions were given for everyone to lay a wreath on the grave, repeat the Service Member’s name and end with a solemn salute. But as the children started laying the wreaths, it appeared that the cold did not bother them as they immersed themselves into the spirit of their service. I was touched as I watched these wonderful young children grasp a feeling of reverence and gratitude for the veterans they were honoring. It set me to wonder how I could instill this same feeling of gratitude for my father, a WWII B-24 Navigator, into his grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

So, on December 16, 2023, at a private Wreaths Across America program in a small cemetery in Northern Utah, 75 descendants of 1st Lieutenant Lionel Chambers assembled to pay tribute and respect to one of America’s Greatest Generation. Many of the great grandkids never knew my father, who passed away in 1999. We had prepared a short program geared towards helping the younger generation realize the blessings we enjoy from the service of our military members. 

It was awe inspiring to watch as each family came up to the grave, repeating our father’s name and “US Army Air Corps,” followed by individual salutes that I am sure my father was very pleased with. 

It truly was an impressive occasion to bring our family together and to look forward to December 2024, so we can repeat this awesome experience.

If you are interested in learning more or registering for the 2024 Wreaths Across America, please visit https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.




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