by Army Staff Sgt. Matthew Winstead
4-25th ABCT PAO
12/16/2010 - JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska -- Troops and commanders from Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson gathered at Richardson National Cemetery to partake in a memorial ceremony, Saturday, to honor the fallen and POW/MIA during the holiday season.
Based on a project that has its beginnings with Arlington National Cemetery, Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization that holds the ceremony annually on the second Saturday of December.
The event began with a formal military ceremony in which high level commanders laid seven wreaths at the base of the cemetery flag pole, one for each branch of the military service and for Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action.
Volunteers and veterans then laid thousands of wreaths at the base of individual Soldiers' graves within the cemetery itself.
Army Col. Morris Goins, the commander for 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, was selected to lay a wreath on behalf of the United States Army.
Other members in attendance were from the Civil Air Patrol, JROTC Programs, and the Boy Scouts of America. Each group simultaneously working hand in hand with civilians, retired veterans, and active duty military to respectfully lay a wreath in remembrance on the headstones standing silently in the snow.