Wreaths across America honors veterans

Dec 20, 2021, 11:38 AM | Updated: 11:21 pm

BLUFFDALE, Utah — Over 2,000 wreaths found homes on veterans’ graves just outside of Camp Williams in Bluffdale Saturday morning.

A crowd of hundreds turned out to help with one part of Utah’s contribution to Wreaths Across America, a national program dedicated to laying wreaths on the graves of those who served our country.

Alex Cabrero met up with one man who wanted to make sure his friend got one. Even on a cold day with plenty of snow on the ground, Jeff Devenport knew he was getting close. Nothing was going to stop him from finding his close friend.

“Lorin passed away three years ago. If you needed him, he was always there,” Jeff Devenport, Veteran, U.S. Navy. And Saturday, Devenport was going to be there for him.

“I ensure his headstone gets a wreath.”

It’s called Wreaths Across America — a day for people to place wreaths on veterans headstones in cemeteries all across the country.“For me, it’s another way to honor our fallen veterans during the holiday season,” Devenport said.

A local squadron with U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol helped organize this particular event… one young man who participated said this is a day he looks forward to every year. “It’s really nice,” Chief Master Sgt. Conner Nielsen of the U.S. Air Force Civil Air Patrol said. “I get to have some quality time with my grandfather and get to spend time with all the deceased veterans.”  Together, they searched for Devenport’s friend who was also a Navy submariner and ran into his friend’s son… who knew exactly where to look.

 Lorin Chatwin passed away in 2018, but he is certainly not forgotten. No way was Devenport going to let that happen, especially on such an important day. “It’s a way we can say, ‘yeah you’re still thought of. You are still part of the family,” Devenport said.

The wreaths are bought by people for charity, which are then distributed during a ceremony at each cemetery. Ceremonies were held at roughly 2,500 cemeteries across the country Saturday, including several here in Utah.

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Wreaths across America honors veterans