ST. GEORGE — Wreaths Across America at Tonaquint Cemetery laid out over 1,000 wreaths to honor and remember every American fallen service member and recognize the enduring sacrifice of every family.

Among the distinguished speakers on Saturday, the keynote address was delivered by Bronwyn Mount, a Gold Star mother who tragically lost her son in military service in Syria.

Valerie King, the director of the program, added “It was particularly touching to remember and honor, with family members present, two local servicemen who paid the ultimate price. Sergeant Bryan Cooper Mount in 2020 and Major Eric Spenddlove just a few weeks ago, who gave their lives while serving our nation.”

The master of ceremonies, Lt. Colonel Kenneth Field, opened the ceremony with a moving message.

Two members of the Sons of the American Revolution talk before the ceremony | Photo by Bridger Palmer, St. George News

“Today we want to remember the fallen and honor those that served and teach the next generation,” he said. “I believe that this ceremony helps us understand what a privilege it is to live in the United States of America.”

The ceremony had a lineup of Ceremonial Wreath Presenters, representing seven decades of military service from the 1950s to the present. Among them were distinguished veterans, including a female veteran with 20 years of service, two veterans with 30 years, and a full bird colonel with an astounding 38 years of service.

The St. George Fire Department, St. George Police Department, and the Utah National Guard, familiar faces from previous years, once again participated in the parade procession from Tonaquint to St. George Cemetery with volunteer vehicles.

One notable contributor is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the top sponsor for 2023, who, along with her husband, donated $5000 — the highest sum ever received since the event’s inception in 2010.

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