Message from one of our 87th ID Veterans - John McAuliffe:
We are the Central Mass. Chapt.-22 Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge.
We shall join our comrads at Arlington, VA on December 13-17, 2007
for the annual Commemorative Ceremony of the VBOB and lay wreaths
at the Unknown Soldiers Monument and then at our Monument at Arlington Cemetery.
Our Monument is a gift of the Belgium and Luxembourg Governments whom US soldiers liberated from the Nazis in WW-II.
My cousin, Mary McAuliffe of Nevada voliunteered to lay wreaths this year.
Our National President is Stan Wojtusik, who is on the Board of Directors of Wreaths of America.
We are privilaged to join in honoring all our Veterans at this time of year.
John E. McAuliffe, President, Cent. MA Chapter-22 VBOB
Update February 2008:
We hope to have photos of Mr. McAuliffe's participation soon.
Because of his sharing of this event - I contacted the national cemetery here in St. Louis;
Jefferson Barracks and found they were participating in this event.
The 3 photos in this gallery are from that day - Decemeber 15, 2007, and article that appeared in the paper.
News Article from the St. Louis Suburban Journals:
Wreath ceremony honors fallen at Jefferson Barracks
Friday, December 28, 2007
Seven wreaths commemorating the Wreaths Across America project were placed at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Dec. 15, 2007.
The ceremony was held in conjunction with a national minute of silence and the laying of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery at noon, Dec. 15, 2007.
Wreaths Across America has honored America's military since it was started 15 years ago by a Harrington, Me, company. Debra Henderson, representing the Air Force branch, placed a wreath at the marker of an Air Force B-17 crew, which had crashed in 1943.
Henderson did it in return for the kindness of a gentleman in England, who helped research her own uncle's B-17 crash (Tech. Sgt. Wayne F. Laubert and crew) in 1944 over England.
( http://thurleigh.moonfruit.com )
The gentleman found the area of the crash site, took photos for her family and laid flowers there a few years ago.
One who asked Debra for a photo of this particular marker at Jefferson Barracks was the family of a 92 year-old woman who had lost her boyfriend, Capt. Richard W. Pugh, during World War II. The woman had not attended his funeral when his body was returned for reburial at Jefferson Barracks after the war.
She had not kept in touch with his family, had gone on in life, and later married, but still had a place in her heart that ached after all these years for him.
Major David Miller named each branch and who was being represented.
The motorcycle "Patriot Guard Riders" represented the POW/MIA and
taps was played by a military bugler.
Update February 2008:
Article Appearing on the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) new online:
Mo. members honor nation's fallen, military as part of Wreaths Across America
Group II hosts memorial observation
January 17, 2008
Maj. David A. Miller
Assistant Public Affairs Officer
Group II Commander
MISSOURI -- For the second year in a row, Group II of the Missouri Wing hosted the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
As part of the nationwide observation Dec. 15, seven special wreaths were placed to honor those who gave their lives in service for their country, as well as those who have served and are serving in the armed forces.
Specially made wreaths for the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and prisoners of war and the missing in action were presented.
Participants included members of the Patriot Guard Riders.
“Despite snow and freezing rain, more than 40 people braved the weather to attend the ceremony at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, our nation's second largest veteran's cemetery,”
said Maj. David Miller, Group II commander and coordinator of the event.
“Knowing the weather wasn't going to cooperate, the ceremony was held indoors at the chapel on site.
It was a very emotional and humbling event. I was honored to be a participant.”
At the end of the ceremony, the Army wreath was presented to the family of Cpl. Russell Makowski, formerly of the 4th Infantry Division, who was killed Sept. 14, 2006, and is buried at Jefferson Barracks.
The Air Force wreath was presented to the family of Tech. Sgt. Wayne Laubert,
killed in action Dec. 15, 1944, as a member of a B-17 aircrew. Laubert's family chose to lay the wreath on the gravesite of
Capt. Richard Pugh, who was killed in action on Nov. 30, 1944, as a member of the Army Air Corps and is buried at Jefferson Barracks.
The POW/MIA wreath was presented to Mike Gibbs, state captain of the Missouri Chapter of the
Patriot Guard Riders. Gibbs laid it at the Jefferson Barracks gravesite of former Korean War servicemen who had been classified as missing in action until recently being identified through DNA testing.
Finally, the remaining wreaths – Navy, Marine, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine – were laid at their respective memorial sites at Jefferson Barracks.
For more information and photos of this national project that has been carried out for 15 years go to:
Richard Pughjefferson Barracks cemeterywreaths across americaWayne Laubertmike GibbsCpl. Russell Makowskijohn McAuliffeMissouri Chapter of the Patriot Guard RidersDavid A. Millercivil Air PatrolMIA Korean War serviceman