Wreaths Across America – Sullivan


Almost everyone all across America is concerned about the colors red and blue.  Well almost everyone.  Sixteen-year-old Sophie Hurst from Sullivan is more concerned with red, white and blue.  That is why she decided to embark on an ambitious project of providing a wreath for every veteran buried in Center Ridge Cemetery in Sullivan.

“People my age don’t realize the sacrifices people then and now have made for us and usually take that for granted.  I’ve never been sure about what I wanted to do?  Whether I want to be a veteran one day or help them.  I feel this is a good step by trying to help them,” she told me Wednesday.

So she called one of her father’s co-workers who is a veteran to ask for help.

“I feel like respect for the veteran has been put on the back burner and I feel with the younger generation myself included and Sophie, I feel like other young people will get involved.  I want at least a hundred people helping us put wreaths on the graves,” Quaid Tresise who served in the 25th Infantry Division in Afghanistan said.  

Resise recommended they participate in the Wreaths Across America Program.  

“I think together we make a good team.  Together we can make this something big.”  We will have to raise somewhere around $15,000 by the end of November to make this happen on December 18th of this year,” he explained.

Hurst says this is not a school project.  Just something the Sullivan High School Junior wanted to do.

“So much of the sacrifices these people made goes unnoticed and under appreciated.  A lot of graves here don’t get visited that much.  Breaks my heart that even if they don’t die in action, they did this for us.  They did this for our freedom and if we can do anything we can to honor them.  It breaks my heart how many of these are not visited or maintained.  Hate it,” she answered when I asked her why she felt so strong about this endeavor.  So now this unlikely pair know their mission and they know their chance of success but that is not going to stop them.  After all it certainly didn’t deter any of the men and women buried here.

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Story Feature : Kevin Rader
Video and Photography: Heather Rader

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