Wreath Laying Held At National Cemetery of the Alleghenies

CECIL TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Western Pennsylvania is taking part in a nationwide event to pay tribute to veterans.

Hundreds of volunteers, students and family members gathered in Cecil Township this weekend for a holiday ceremony to honor the so many who have served our country.

On Saturday afternoon, more than 2,000 wreaths were placed at the graves of veterans at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.

“It’s something we should always remember, all the sacrifices that have been made,” said John Kenes, a retired United States Marine.

Pvt. Timothy Schmider was honored to place a wreath at the grave of Sgt. 1st Class Robert Fike of Trafford. He was killed in Afghanistan last June.

“I can’t even explain to you how much of an honor it is to me; it’s just amazing,” said Pvt. Schmider.

“My son would be just be so humbled to know how people are honoring him and the other young men and women that are here today,” said Fike’s father, Jim.

Many of the people placing wreaths were students. The Connellsville Area High School Patriots raised money to buy 621 wreaths to put at the grave sites.

“These kids prove to me and to our community daily that freedom matters. They’re going to make sure their children know what it’s like to live in a community where people are free,” said Linda Shearer, a teacher in the district.

One of the goals of the project is to get younger generations involved.

“I hope they go home and maybe dig out the history book or get on the computer and see what wars were about,” added Kenes.

The wreath ceremony ended with a final salute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

  • lee

    kudos to connellsville area hs patriots & teacher linda shearer for a job well done from a wounded vietnam vet

  • critter

    do that on veterans day ,not today.

    • Kyli

      I’m sorry, I’m not being rude, but I’m part of the Connellsville patriots, and one of the reasons they do this is because we make the cemetery look absolutely beautiful for Christmas time, and it’s a great way for the families of the fallen soldiers to visit and pay respects to them for the holidays. It’s a great way to honor America. Everyone should be thanking a vet and honoring them every day for their service and dedication to our freedom.

  • Ron Orr

    Kyli: That was a class response. I concur that every day should be for remembering and honoring veterans; especially those injured or fallen in battle.

  • Hank

    Critter, In the twenty plus years I chose to defend your right to leave comments such as your post the one day a years is enough for a wreath to be placed in a National cemetary. My best friend is a rest under one of your offending wreaths. Do you have any idea why our flag was at half mast last week? Viet Nam was a long time a go, but I remember every day as if it were today. Don’t like wreaths in a Veterans cemetary, close your eyes.

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