‘I love you, daddy’: Hundreds pay tribute to fallen soldiers at Beaufort National Cemetary

Local News

BEAUFORT, S.C. (WSAV) — An annual holiday tradition took place Saturday in the Lowcountry honoring the men and women who fought for the U.S. and are no longer with us. The ceremony took place at the Beaufort National Cemetery for Wreaths Across America.

Hundreds of people came to pay their respects and offer a special tribute to military men and women, one wreath at a time.

“My father was in WWII and served his country honorably and I am just here to pay respects to those who did the same,” says David Whitworth.

Respect shown in the form of a wreath, laid in front of the stone marking the names and service of America’s fighting forces.

“Because our family was so dedicated to America and what it stood for and our freedom and was willing to fight for it,” said Yvette Aycock, who was honoring her brother.

Wreaths Across America started in Beaufort 12 years ago with just 70 wreaths at gravesites. Today every one of the headstones will be adorned with holiday green.

“I love you, daddy,” a woman says in honor of Adam Cole, Sr, Master Sgt. USMC.

It didn’t matter if you were there to honor a loved one.

“He was 100 years old and a WWII veteran,” said Suzi Reed about her father. “This meant everything to him to be able to be in the cemetery.”

Or volunteering to place a wreath on a grave for someone you never met and didn’t know, but just felt it was important that everyone got the honor they earned.

“I just like respecting the fact that people sacrificed their lives for our lives,” Braden Marshall said.

In all, more than 26,000 wreaths now cover this solemn ground, a show of love, support and appreciation for everyone who served.

“These people helped make our country as great as it is,” David Whitworth said.

“These soldiers they all deserve it. Especially my dad,” says Reed. “I know my dad is looking down and going, ‘Bravo.'”

Wreaths Across America placed wreaths at 2500 different sites around the nation Saturday, honoring close to a million soldiers, airmen and Navy Seabees. All the wreaths were paid for through personal and corporate donations.

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