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Cherokee NJROTC contributes 505 wreaths for Mountain Home ceremony

STAFF REPORT • Dec 27, 2019 at 8:30 AM

ROGERSVILLE — The Cherokee High School NJROTC raised $7,576 to purchase 505 wreaths to lay on military graves during the Mountain Home National Cemetery’s Dec. 14 Wreaths Across America ceremony in Johnson City.

Beginning in October, Cherokee NJROTC cadets canvassed the community and requested donations to buy live wreaths for the Wreaths Across America Project to be held at Mountain Home.

In the last four years, the unit has raised $45,263 for the project.

The residents of Rogersville and Hawkins County have supported this effort in an extraordinary way and have given so much to show their support of veterans who defended our nation.

The ceremony began at noon. The invocation was given by Ernie Walker, American Legion Post 24, and the national colors were presented by the Daniel Boone Marine Corps JROTC as Justin Smith sang the national anthem.

Sixty seconds of silence was then observed in memory of veterans’ service.

The master of ceremonies for the event was Allen Jackson, who serves as historian for the Johnson City/Washington County Veterans Memorial Foundation, the East Tennessee Veterans Memorial Association, Tri-Cities Military Affairs Council and American Legion King’s Mountain Post No. 24.

The keynote address was given by David Carter, WAA location coordinator, Mountain Home. 

At the conclusion of the opening ceremony, taps was played by the Boone Marine Corps JROTC.

Seven wreaths were presented individually during the ceremony to honor each individual branch’s active personnel, veterans, and fallen.

Upon conclusion of the ceremony, Cherokee NJROTC and other groups walked throughout the cemetery and honored the fallen veterans there by placing live wreaths with red bows on thousands of graves. After placing the wreaths on the graves, cadets took a couple of steps back, offered a hand salute, said the veteran’s name and expressed thanks for their service.

Cadets who attended the ceremony were Emily Andrews, Laura Andrews, Kaitlyn Bare, Joanna Bishop, Kendall Chamberlain, Robert Greene, Keegan Horn, Adam Johnson, Ashtin Johnson, Hayden Lawson, Nathaniel Littleton, Jewel MacGregor, Elizabeth Massengill, Katlyn Ramsey, Kirsten Ramsey, Kameron Sauceman, Dakota Waller, Dustin Mayes, Kieara Roder, McKenzie Warden, Mickaela Schneider, and David Weaver.

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