Wreath-laying ceremony honors veterans in SE Minnesota: 'This is our present to them'

The holidays are a time to spend time with loved ones and also a time to give back and reflect. Members of the Southeast Minnesota Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol did that by laying wreaths on the grave sites of veterans.

Posted: Dec 14, 2019 7:02 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2019 9:18 AM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Walk around Oakwood Cemetery and you'll see lots of wreaths for this reason. 

"We want to remember the sacrifices that we gave, the freedom that we have," Gene Enos of the Civil Air Patrol said. 

Braving the tough wintery conditions is nothing compared to what veterans braved for our freedoms. 

"They are away from their families, all the time they have spent for our freedom, this is a little bit that we can do for them," Enos said. 

The Southeast Minnesota Composite Squadron consists of young members interested in joining the service. Saturday exemplified learning from the past. 

"I think that since we're the future, we have to learn and take this opportunity from our elders, the ceremonies and the ways to respect those people who have fought for our country," Grace Guetter said. 

It's a reflective way to spend the season. 

"During the holidays, when everybody's out buying presents, this is our present to them," Enos said. 

The squadron laid 1000 wreaths in the Rochester area. Ceremonies happened in all 50 states and in 24 cemeteries overseas. 

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