FORT LYON – Wreaths will be placed at the headstones of thousands of veterans laid to rest at Fort Lyon National Cemetery in Southern Colorado. “It is a year like no other,” said Event Coordinator, Darla Youngblood. It is the first time every headstone will be decorated.
Youngblood is the current coordinator of the Fort Lyon National Cemetery, Wreaths Across America event. She replaced the first and now retired coordinator, Karen Vanegmond. This year’s plans fulfill a dream for Vanegmond. “It was my wish that before I died that I could have a wreath for every solider veteran out here.”
A curious incident set the stage for granting this Christmas wish. “There was a glitch last year and we did not get our wreaths,” said Vanegmond. For several days the wreath arrival was anticipated. Everyone showed up for the ceremony still thinking the wreaths would arrive. “We were all here waiting and the wreaths weren’t here. and someone said the truck was in Lamar. Then someone said it just went by and didn’t stop,” said Youngblood, “Then we found out that our wreaths through invoicing, computer glitch, we weren’t getting them.”
The mistake turned into an opportunity for this year. “To make up for that, they would give us a wreath for every grave this year,” said Young Blood.
There was a year with close to a thousand wreaths. “It’s beautiful,” said Vanegmond. The number this year will be more than 2,700 with every headstone decorated.
There is a ceremony at Fort Lyon National Cemetery, Saturday December 15th at 10:00 a.m. Volunteers then canvas the cemetery liking wreaths at headstones, one by one.