Remembering those who served: Wreaths Across America ceremony honors local vets | TheUnion.com
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Remembering those who served: Wreaths Across America ceremony honors local vets

Wreaths Across America ceremony honors local vets

A wreath layer picks up a pair of wreaths to be placed on the graves of local veterans following the Wreaths Across America ceremony Saturday afternoon at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Grass Valley, where hundreds of wreaths were placed.
Elias Funez

Wreath’s Across America location coordinator and Daughter of the American Revolution’s Bonnie Magnetti got a little choked up during Saturday’s wreath laying ceremony.

“This is a way we can all come together,” Magnetti said to the crowd that had gathered at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Grass Valley for the ceremony.

Claude Hessel, U.S. Coast Guard, retired, salutes the flag during the playing of “Taps” at Saturday’s Wreaths Across America ceremony. The wreaths program is intended to remember those who have fallen, honor those who have served, and to teach children the value of freedom.
Elias Funez

“When we place a wreath and we say a person’s name, we don’t ask if they are a Republican or a Democrat. We don’t ask if they are a Protestant or Catholic. These are our American veterans, and these are people that some of them gave their lives for our country,” Magnetti said.



“It’s hard for me to even think about that without crying.”

U.S. Merchant Marine John Banister, retired, salutes a ceremonial wreath placed in honor of Merchant Marines who have died. A ceremonial wreath was placed for each branch of the armed forces.
Elias Funez

About 50 people attended the ceremony, and to help with the wreath laying. All attendees wore masks, and seats were placed 6 feet apart.



“I want everyone to think of that as we place these wreaths and we say their names and honor every single veteran here.”

Attendees, seated 6 feet apart and equipped with face coverings, take in the Wreaths Across America ceremony.
Elias Funez

Ralph Remick of the Vietnam Veterans of America was on hand to not only play “Taps” on his trumpet, but also to play the National Anthem as current COVID-19 regulations restrict singing in public places.

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Capt. Patrick Bracken — who’s stationed at nearby Beale Air Force Base — was on hand to provide the invocation and benediction before the wreath laying.

U.S. Air Force Chaplian, Capt. Patrick Bracken, active duty, and U.S. Coast Guard Claude Hessel retired, say the names of Phelan and Bankus as they place wreaths and salute their graves following Saturday’s Wreaths Across America ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Grass Valley. Wreath layers are encouraged to say the names of the deceased veterans as a way to thank and remember them for their service.
Elias Funez

American Legion Post 130 Honor Guard provided the three-volley gun salute.

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez, email efunez@theunion.com or call 530-477-4230.

American Legion Post 130 Honor Guard members conduct a three-volley gun salute during the Wreaths Across America ceremony.
Elias Funez
Stacey Green, on active duty with the U.S Air Force, places a ceremonial wreath during Saturday’s Wreaths Across America ceremony in honor of other Air Force members who have died.
Elias Funez
Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution give opening remarks during Saturday’s annual wreath laying and remembrance ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Grass Valley.
Elias Funez

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