The numbers keep growing as the local Air Cadet Squadron, 325 Cornwall Kiwanis Royal Canadian Air Cadet Squadron, continues to participate in Wreaths Across Canada. 120 wreaths were places on gravesites of men and women who served in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Since 2015, local cadets have participated in Wreaths Across Canada. This year was no different for 7 local air cadets. On Sunday December 4th, 2022, wreaths were placed on gravestones in three cemeteries in Cornwall.
This was the 8th year for cadets in what has become an annual event. The purpose of Wreaths Across Canada is to continue the commitment to always remember those who served for our country. The phrase We Will Remember is always associated with Remembrance Day, however, most do not continue to remember beyond the November 11th timeframe. This is an event in which youth can continue the commitment to always remember.
“Wreaths Across Canada is much more than just laying a wreath. It is important to remember our fallen troops even outside of Remembrance Day “said FSgt Treyson Garner, a cadet with 325 RCACS. “Whenever I laid down a wreath, I thought about the life this fallen soldier had lived, and what they did so we could live ours in peace. This was a way of showing our great gratitude to those who were unable to make it back home. That is what Wreaths Across Canada means to me.”
For the second year, the wreaths were handmade by student at Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School. Both elementary and secondary students were part of the team who made 120 wreaths under the supervision of Mr. Nigel Carlisle. The wreaths were made of evergreens boughs, with a red bow attached.
Wreaths Across Canada was established by WO (Ret’d) Craig McPhee after being inspired by a similar event in Arlington, Virginia. The event is held on the first Sunday of December with a goal of honouring the thousands of men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces who lay in plots across the country. The main activities of Wreaths Across Canada are focused on the National Military Cemetery, located at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa.
Part of the mission of Wreaths Across Canada is to honour those who served Canada as members of our military forces, and teach Canadian youth the value of freedom. This speaks volumes to the role in which local cadets and students had in ensuring those laid to rest locally are remembered.
Every year the list of gravesites covered by the local cadet units continues to grow. The list has grown from 27 in its original year to 120 this year. Every year, cadets continue to find additional gravesites to honour, and this year was no different. While placing wreaths this year, cadets in Cornwall found an additional 47 gravestones which will be added to the list for next year.
The cost of the wreaths is currently covered by the Cornwall Air Cadet squadron. Donations and sponsorships are certainly appreciated to assist in covering the cost to remember and honour those who served for Canada.