For the past 12 years, Gettysburg National Cemetery has been blessed to start its first Friday of December with a dignified ceremony, followed by the laying of wreaths to honor fallen soldiers in their final resting place. John McColley founded The Sgt. MAC Foundation after his son was tragically killed while serving in the Marines in 2006, and the organization’s mission is to honor those who have died for our country by placing wreaths on their graves. I have participated in many of these events with Wreaths Across America, and can personally attest to the importance of this beautiful tradition.  

When I learned that the foundation’s routine yearly application to hold its ceremony was denied this year, I was deeply upset. Newly appointed Gettysburg National Military Park Superintendent Steve Sims is within his right to deny the ceremony, but he is also just as entitled to allow it to take place. Six superintendents prior to Sims’ appointment have allowed the ceremony to take place without question. Despite being a graduate of West Point, Sims may need a reminder on the importance of honoring our fallen Veterans.

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