In recognition of the upcoming Wreaths Across America Ceremonies to be conducted nationwide on Saturday, December 17, OHSSAR President Jack Bredenfoerder and First Lady Laurie Bredenfoerder attended the Wreaths Across America Kick-off Ceremony at the Ohio Statehouse on Monday, December 12.
The ceremony was held at 11:00 AM in the Ohio Statehouse Atrium.
OHSDAR Regent Susan Leininger and many DAR from across the state also brought their support for this important memorial program. Governor Mike DeWine and his Springer Spaniel, Dolly greeted several of the early arriving guests.
An excellent choral presentation of holiday carols by the Olentangy Orange High School A Capella Chorale preceded the ceremony. The ceremony began with the presentation of the Colors. An inspiring rendition of the National Anthem was sung by Ms. Lisa Griffin and the assembly recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Invocation was offered by Lt. Col. Thomas Whiteman. Major General (Ret.) Deborah Ashenhurst brought greetings and served as Master of Ceremonies. Major General Ashenhurst presented the Missing Man ceremony. Gold Star Mother, Theresa Mecionis made the Empty Chair wreath presentation and then gave a remembrance tribute for her son Joey.
Following Theresa’s heartfelt tribute, the Service Branch Wreaths were presented by local police chiefs. Major General Ashenhurst then introduced the keynote speaker, Major General John C. Harris, Jr.
Major General Harris’ inspiring presentation stressed that the uncertainty of a service person’s life is due to the uncertainty of the next threat that may attack our nation. A service person’s career is not linear. Most of us know what is expected of us as we approach our careers, but a service person’s life is constantly in question of where the next threat may come from. Whether foreign or domestic, our adversaries are always changing, and they don’t play by any rules.
Our service people pledge their support of the Constitution and our country, but they all too often give the ultimate sacrifice because of an unexpected threat. President Bredenfoerder presented Major General Harris an Ohio Society Challenge Coin in recognition of his service and insightful presentation.
The ceremony was concluded with “Amazing Grace” being played by vanishing piper, Glenn Mackay, and the playing of “Taps” by Sgt. Jennifer Grimmer.
Remember our nation’s many heroes and attend your local Wreaths Across America ceremony at noon on Saturday, December 17, 2022.