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916th at Goldsboro's 6th Annual Wreaths Across America Ceremony

916th ARW W.A.A. '18

Col. Craig McPike, commander of the 916th Air Refueling Wing gives the keynote address during Goldsboro’s sixth annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at 12 p.m. on Dec. 15 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Wreaths Across America annually provides wreaths to honor and remember fallen service members during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeramy Moore)

916th ARW Wreaths Across America '18

U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Mark Kistler, the command chIef master sergeant of the 916th Air Refueling Wing places a memorial wreath at a gravesite during Goldsboro’s sixth annual Wreaths Across America ceremony on Dec. 15 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Wreaths Across America annually provides wreaths to honor and remember fallen service members during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeramy Moore)

916th ARW Wreaths Across America '18

A bagpiper plays TAPS during Goldsboro’s sixth annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at on Dec. 15 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Wreaths Across America annually provides wreaths to honor and remember fallen service members during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeramy Moore)

916th ARW Wreaths Across America '18

U.S. Air Force Col. Craig McPike, commander of the 916th Air Refueling Wing renders a salute to a Air Force memorial wreath during Goldsboro’s sixth annual Wreaths Across America ceremony on Dec. 15 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Goldsboro, North Carolina. McPike escorted Gail Hargrove who is a Gold Star wife. Wreaths Across America annually provides wreaths to honor and remember fallen service members during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeramy Moore)

916th ARW Wreaths Across America '18

Members of Team Seymour open boxes of wreaths during Goldsboro’s sixth annual Wreaths Across America ceremony on Dec. 15 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Wreaths Across America annually provides wreaths to honor and remember fallen service members during the holiday season. (U.S. Air Force photo by Jeramy Moore)

SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE --

More than 50 members of Team Seymour came together to lay wreaths on the gravestones of veterans in recognition of Goldsboro’s sixth annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at noon on Dec. 15 at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Goldsboro, North Carolina.

U.S. Air Force Col. Craig McPike, commander of the 916th Air Refueling Wing was the keynote speaker of the ceremony.

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun in 1992. The mission of "Remember, Honor, Teach" is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies on a specified day in December at Arlington, as well as veterans' cemeteries in all 50 states and beyond, to remember America's fallen heroes, honor those who serve and teach children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families.

The significance of ceremonies like this one is pretty profound. Without the sacrifices of those brave servicemen and women we would be in a much worse position. It is their efforts that allow us to enjoy the freedoms that we do,” said the Wayne County event coordinator, Tawnya Tucker. “It is truly my honor to continue this effort but I could not do this alone. Seymour Johnson Air force Base and the Wayne County Veterans and Patriots Coalition were critical in putting this event together.

During the ceremony, a service member from each branch of the U.S. armed forces escorted a Gold Star family to a memorial wreath rack and rendered a salute. Afterward, over 1300 wreaths were placed at the headstones of veterans interred at cemeteries across the country. 

“The freedom, liberty and strength of our nation exist because of their courage, selfless service, consummate professionalism and commitment to a larger cause,” said McPike, the keynote speaker of the ceremony. “It is a privilege to fulfill our nation's sacred commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen and to those still unaccounted for.”

“Wreaths Across America has had a significant impact in Goldsboro, the annual ceremony has become somewhat of a family tradition for many,” said the Wayne County event coordinator, Tawnya Tucker. “This is the sixth year we have been doing this and I get notes and letters of thanks throughout the year from friends and family members of those whose loved ones have been honored with a wreath for the holidays.”

The mission statement of WAA is: Remember the fallen, Honor those who served, and who are serving, and to Teach our children the value of our freedom. 

To find out more about Wreaths Across America visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/nc0149