The Corps of Cadets carry out the true meaning of community
Waynesboro, VA – The Corps of Cadets from Fishburne Military School (FMS) joined in community events to spread holiday cheer, and most importantly, held the Wreaths Across America Ceremony to honor fallen Veterans of America on Wednesday, December 14, 2022.
Wreaths Across America honors the fallen Veterans of the United States of America in 3,400 participating locations. Wreaths are sponsored and donated to be placed on the graves of fallen Veterans. The first portion of the ceremony was held in the gym at Fishburne Military School.
Cadet Aiden Bowman who narrated the ceremony said, “We do this as part of a national effort to remember and honor deceased Veterans, called Wreaths Across America. This week, thousands of wreaths donated by American citizens are being laid on Veteran graves across America. We proudly join those efforts. Yesterday, we received six wreaths from this great national effort, and we will use them today to honor deceased members of the United States Armed Forces.”
FMS dedicated one wreath each to the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. In placing each wreath, the Cadets and Fishburne Family recognized every individual servicemember from that service who died. The final wreath was dedicated to all alumni and friends of Fishburne Military School who served in the Armed Forces but have since passed away.
Six Cadets presented and saluted each wreath, and the FMS band played Service songs in honor of each. After the formation, Cadet leadership laid each wreath on a grave of a fallen Veteran at Riverview Cemetery in Waynesboro. The final wreath was presented and set on the gravesite of Professor James A. Fishburne to recognize all the Cadets that attended Fishburne and later served in the Armed Forces. The playing of Taps concluded the ceremony.
FMS JROTC Instructor, LTC Christopher Wingate USA (RET) said, “Fallen Veterans are real people with real stories. They and their families sacrificed and missed holidays and birthdays, first steps, big games, and concerts to secure the liberties we enjoy as Americans. This day is a way to thank all Veterans who have died, honor their service, and remind each other of the real human costs of freedom. I am grateful that Fishburne Military School takes the responsibility to remember this seriously.”
In addition to Wreaths Across America, FMS Cadets marched in Downtown Staunton, Waynesboro, and Stuarts Draft holiday parades, totaling three parades in two weeks.
Additionally, JROTC Cadets organized a Teddy Bear Drive to collect and gift teddy bears to children in local hospitals. Community members, including Waynesboro Police Department, Edward Jones Realty, and the Ruritan Club, donated bears for the cause. Cadet Ryan Legg emphasized that of all the fundraisers they could have chosen, this one stood out as most meaningful to the Corps. The Cadets collected 180 bears and will continue to accept bear donations through January 2023.