Wreaths across America honors veterans

One Saturday every December, tens of thousands of volunteers participate in Wreaths across America wreath-laying ceremonies at national cemeteries and memorial parks. Since the organization’s founding in 2007, it has helped keep alive the memories of those who serve or have served and those who have given their lives in the line of duty.
In 2013, Wreaths across America designated the Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa an official location for National Wreaths across America Day. This year, nearly 20 wreaths were positioned around the park.
“Wreaths were placed on completed structures such as the Vietnam War and Spanish American war memorials, as well as at future memorial sites (Gulf War and POW),” said Mark Goujon, of Lithia, chairman of the Iraq Veterans Memorial.
Marty Sullivan, of Valrico, second vice president of the Korean War Veterans of America, set wreaths in front of the Iraq Veterans Memorial and Korean War Memorial.
The two men met in 2012 at the Veterans Memorial Park.
“We’re both from the greater Boston area, and we hit it off immediately,” said Goujon. “Marty is a committee member for the Korean War Memorial and I am chairman of the Iraq Veterans Memorial, which honors Florida’s 190 fallen. Marty also joined the IVM committee and volunteered at over a dozen events to raise funds to complete the memorial within two years.”
The wreath-laying ceremony occurred on the one-year anniversary of the Iraq Veterans Memorial, so Sullivan and Goujon rendezvoused there “to pay our respects, share war stories, and admire so many impressive war memorials in Tampa to honor Florida’s veterans and fallen,” said Goujon.
BY Barbara Routen
Special Correspondent 

(Pictured above:  Marty Sullivan, of StrawBerry Ridge, lays a wreath at the Iraq Veterans Memorial at the Veterans Memorial Park in Tampa)