Story by retired Army Major Anton Alston
On December 17, 2022, eleven cadets from Charles B. Aycock High School Army Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps (JROTC) participated in a wreath laying ceremony at the Pikeville Cemetery. The wreath laying ceremony was sponsored by the Pikeville American Legion Post 541.
The cadets provided a Color Guard and assisted in the Laying of the Wreath ceremony. They laid a wreath for each branch of military service. After the ceremony, the cadets assisted in laying 147 wreaths on veterans’ grave sites. “I am so proud of our Cadets. They did an amazing job. They represented our school and community with pride and professionalism,” said retired Army Major. Anton Alston, Charles B. Aycock’s Army JROTC Senior Army Instructor.
“The cadets did an exceptional job. This was the first year we had JROTC cadets participate in the wreath laying presentation for each service branch. They added a special touch to the ceremony. The comments I received from the members of the post were very positive. For future ceremonies they requested that the cadets participate in the wreath presentation,” said Scott Tadlock, Commander, American Legion Post 541.
This event is an opportunity to remember our fallen U.S. veterans by placing wreaths on their grave sites. This is also a day we honor the service men and women that serve in the defense of our Nation. Lastly, this event teaches children the value of freedom.
“The ceremony was so touching. I saw a veteran crying and I began to cry. It was so moving,” said Cadet Nicolas Casarez, Charles B. Aycock High School Army JROTC. “I really felt proud to be a part of this ceremony,” said Cadet William Johnson, Charles B. Aycock High School Army JROTC.