FALLS CITY – The VFW Auxiliary Ladies and American Legion Riders gathered at Steele Cemetery in Falls City Saturday as part of the national “Wreaths Across America” memorial event.
The memorial event began in 1992, when surplus wreaths from Maine were taken to graves at Arlington National Cemetery. It is now observed at more than 1,400 cemeteries in all 50 states.
American Legion Commander James Liming of Falls City said the event is meaningful for him.
Liming: “We’re showing that our brethren are not forgotten and they are remembered during these holiday seasons.”
The Falls City crew placed wreaths around the gazebo and on the graves of Marshall Maddox and Bill Schock.
Maddox is a former mayor, teacher and wrestling coach. He served in Korea in 1969 and two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning a bronze star for valor. He was later training commander for the National Guard.
He is creator of the Richardson County Military History Museum, which is now located at the courthouse.
June Bowers VFW Auxiliary ladies talked about the men’s patriotism.
Bowers: “Sharing his story of serving in the service, what an honor it was, in spite of being shot down in World War II and surviving. He never said it was a problem. It was his duty in the service of our country and that is the same way Marshall Maddox was. Everything he did was for our country.”
About 1.8 million wreaths were placed nationwide, including those at Falls City and Pawnee City.