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Aaron Cottongim, a member of Cub Pack 269 lays a wreath on the grave of Todd Sanders at the Frankfort Cemetery on Saturday. (Photo by McKenna Horsley)

Aaron Cottongim, a Cub Scout in Pack 269, was one of several scouts and volunteers to lay wreaths on the graves of veterans in the Frankfort Cemetery on Saturday. 

He said that it was his second time participating in Wreaths Across America, which is an annual day to honor fallen service members and is observed by many throughout the country. Pack 269 began participating in a local event last year. 

Aaron said it was important to “be kind and lay wreaths” on veterans’ graves. He laid multiple wreaths himself. His mother, Carol Cottongim, accompanied him Saturday. She said laying the wreaths was a good way to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. 

“Even though they aren’t here, we haven’t forgotten them,” she said.

Before those gathered at the cemetery began laying the wreaths on veterans’ graves, the pack held a ceremony where scouts presented wreaths to honor all veterans and active military, as well as Merchant Marines and service members whose last status was either “Prisoner of War” or “Missing In Action.” Some older members of Scouts BSA presented the colors for the day.

Annell Lough, the assistant cubmaster for Pack 269 and a location coordinator with Wreaths Across America, said she first saw a wreathing while living in Fort Rucker, Alabama. Her husband was stationed there at the time. When she moved back to Frankfort, she wanted to bring the tradition here, as she thought it sent a great message to youth.

“I decided that when I got back here that it would be a great way to serve our community as a scout pack and just a great way for our community to recognize those who have served us in our community,” Lough said. 

Some of the wreaths are sponsored by donors and the pack does fundraising for the event. This year’s event was the pack’s second. Lough said it has gotten a positive reaction from the community and the scouts enjoy it. 

“It’s amazing because our scouts have high energy and when they come to this event, they recognize the importance of reverence and the importance of honor,” she said. 

To be involved with Wreaths Across America in the future, Lough said that anyone interested can go to wreathsacrossamerica.org to learn more. 

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