IRONWOOD- 14 year Air Force Veteran, and longtime Ironwood resident Murray Morgan travelled to Arlington National Cemetery Saturday Dec. 14 along with 40 other truck drivers as a part of Wreaths Across America.
Morgan served as an ambassador for Halvor Lines Trucking, Superior, his employer.
This year 2,000 volunteers at Arlington laid 3,168 wreaths, with 143,000 wreaths across the country at other locations, Morgan said. The project to honor fallen soldiers began five years ago, and the goal for next year is to lay 300,000 wreaths, for each grave site.
Several Boy Scout Troops assisted, Morgan said, with clean-up afterward.
"It was an absolute honor," said 73 year old Morgan, who not only works full-time but also paints in his studio space downtown Ironwood, after serving the U.S. during the Vietnam War.
Wreaths Across America receives no government funding, Morgan said. Wreath sponsors and private donors fund the effort. The mission, according to its website, is "to remember, honor, and teach about the service and sacrifices of our veterans, active military and their families. We Will Never Forget."
Morgan said there just weren't words to describe the experience. "It was life-changing.
The other drivers and volunteers were just phenomenal." he continued.
When laying the wreath, Morgan first stood at the foot of the fallen soldiers grave to show respect. Next, he stepped on hallowed ground to lay the wreath. Then he said a prayer for the fallen soldier, and for the giver of the wreath, which in the submitted photo, was himself. After prayer, he saluted, turned right face, and stepped off the hallowed ground.
He has already applied to return next year.