Readshaw addresses veterans, family
State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, addressed a gathering of more than 100 armed forces veterans and family members Monday as part of the national Wreaths Across America effort.
Wreaths Across America, backed by more than 900 organizations across the United States, seeks to place a pine wreath on the graves of all the nations' veterans during the holiday season.
It is guided by the countless number of Christmas holidays at home given up by those who served in the armed forces, especially those who never returned home for another Christmas.
The project began nearly 20 years ago when a wreath manufacturing company in Maine, on discovering that it was overstocked with the decorations, made arrangements to send them to Washington D.C. to be placed on the graves of veterans interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Many of the veterans at Monday's ceremony were in uniform while others wore caps that identified their military service and the veterans' organization with which they are affiliated.
The ceremony was hosted by the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association.
Mr. Readshaw, a member of the association, is also a former sergeant in the U.S. Marines.
He told the gathering Americans must remember the reason why the nation's veterans served can be described by a single word.
The word is ‘freedom,' said Mr. Readshaw, "freedom that is daily earned and refreshed. Freedom is why we are able to gather and speak here today."