By: Brittany Bedi | WCTV Eyewitness News
December 4, 2017
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Veterans, Junior ROTC cadets, and Gold Star families gathered at the Florida Capitol courtyard Monday to lay a wreath on the capitol grounds.
It’s part of Wreaths Across America; a nationwide initiative to honor military personnel killed overseas and prisoners of war.
A ceremony held Monday paid respect to veterans and Gold Star families. Leon County Schools' choir and band students performed songs for each branch of the military and played Taps. Junior ROTC students presented the colors and took part in the ringing of the bells ceremony.
Three Gold Star mothers attended the ceremony. They say that they’re honored to see the community come together to remember their loved ones.
“Without the support, I don’t think we could stand. Even though it’s been years since our children and family members passed, that we could even smile today. We’re so grateful for the support. They really are our backbone,” said Alberta Simmons, a Gold Star mother.
Tammy Wise-Thrash is also a Gold Star mother.
“It’s a special thing to me, especially to see the high school students here, the JROTC,” said Wise-Thrash. “My son was in JROTC for four years at Godby. He’s buried at Arlington, where this even started. I really appreciate the fact that they’re honored, they’re remembered, and I appreciate the fact that we get to see each other [Gold Star Mothers] because we understand each other.”
National Wreaths Across America Day is December 16. Wreaths will be placed at the Tallahassee National Cemetery and other locations throughout the country.