Buchanan charity pays homage to fallen veterans, holds a special ceremony

Roanoke Valley News

BUCHANAN, Va. (WFXR) — One Botetourt County charity is doing its part to keep the legacies of fallen veterans alive.

‘Sirens and Salutes’ in Buchanan held its first ‘Fairview Wreath-Laying Ceremony’ on Saturday, Dec. 4 to acknowledge the fallen men and women who fought for this country.

As a way to honor the nearly 500 veterans laid to rest at the cemetery, organizers laid wreaths with ribbons on their graves for the holiday season. Volunteers and family members of deceased veterans say they want to make sure those who have passed are remembered.

“If we don’t teach the younger generation coming up, people like this will be forgotten and we can’t let them be forgotten,” said Bill Price, president of the Sirens and Salutes charity.

Price comes from a long line of veterans and first responders, which gives him a sense of pride.

“That even makes it more important,” said Price. “Not saying you have to be in the military to honor them, but I think it makes it a little bit closer because I know what these veterans went through. I kind of went through the same thing.”

Price served eight years in the Navy, entering at just 18 years of age. He knows, firsthand, the difficulty of the transition.

“When you’re an 18-year-old kid and the first time you’re away from your family and out on your own getting yelled at by drill instructors, you have to learn how to do your own laundry, sewing, and all that kind of stuff,” said Price.

Volunteer Dewayne Belcher, although not a veteran himself, says the men and women resting in this cemetery are the reason he can live the life he does today.

“Freedom’s not free,” said Belcher.

Belcher says he recently learned his great-great-grandfather fought for his freedom.

“My cousin did research on our family history and come to find out my great-great-grandfather George Washington Gordon was in the infantry years ago,” said Belcher.

Belcher says that brought him out to the ceremony, but also helps him appreciate life a little bit more.

“We should appreciate each and every day we have the freedom to be able to smell this Earth,” said Belcher.

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