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Local ‘Wreaths’ event marks 9th year

I am so excited to share with you we recently completed our ninth annual Wreaths Across America event at Bogalusa Cemetery in cooperation with our local partners Disabled Veterans, Fred Magee, Commander and Calvin Johnson, former Commander, and AARP Bogalusa.

In November, Troy Brossard, a veteran and employee of AARP Louisiana, was in Washington, D.C., to honor all veterans. Other partners included the City of Bogalusa, ISG (R) Jack Rogers. Senior Army Instructor, Bogalusa High School JROTC Lumberjack Battalion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Washington Men’s Club and Washington Parish NAACP, president and veteran Raymond Tate.

Last year, the “live” wreaths from Worcester, Maine, were delivered by Kirk Meins, a truck driver and U.S. Navy veteran who served aboard the U.S.S. Daniel Boone, a SSBN submarine, during the Cold War in the 70s. The truck was owned by David Freymiller of Freymiller Trucking.

This year, for the ninth annual event on last Saturday, Dec. 14, at 11 a.m. CST in conjunction with noon EST at Arlington National, the live wreaths from Worcester were delivered by Ronnie Nicholson, 28-year Army veteran, and Greg Lamb, former National Guard Veteran and Regional Transportation Manager for Ashley Furniture Industries.

At the event, tribute was given to Catherine Small Long (Feb. 7, 1924, through Nov. 23, 2019) the widow of U.S. Rep. Gillis Long, who served from 1985 through 1987. Catherine Small Long served in the U.S. Navy in World War II. Bogalusa has a connection to Long through her son, George Long of Abita Springs. George is the former owner of Longshots Photography of New Orleans and has taken historic photos of A. Z. Young and wife Dorothy Young with President Clinton.

Gregory Weary, a U.S. Navy disabled veteran who served in the Vietnam Era and is a Retired U.S. Postal Service worker, was the speaker for the event.

In my closing remarks, I encouraged the JROTC cadets to google “Wreaths Across America program,” and learn more about this program that is so much more than our little town of Bogalusa, and how it has state, national and international impact and volunteers who place wreaths worldwide.

Finally, I urged them to write a paper on their participation in the Bogalusa annual Wreaths Across America event.

This article was written by Emma Dixon, who is the Bogalusa site coordinator for Wreaths Across America.