Saturday, July 29, was historic for the State of Maine and members of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (the Old Guard). Unit Commanders, the U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps, Continental Color Guard, and the U.S. Army Drill Team, participated in a veterans remembrance tree-tagging event.

During the public event a ceremony unveiling the newly designated “Old Guard Memorial Grove” was held. The grove is located on the tip land where balsam is harvested to create the remembrance wreaths that are placed at Arlington National Cemetery and across the country each December as part of National Wreaths Across America Day.

There, tree branches will forever carry replica dog tags with the names of those service members who have passed. Every three years the trees will be “tipped” or pruned to gather balsam brush to make veterans remembrance wreaths that are placed on military headstones.

Especially meaningful is the location of the Grove, which is adjacent to the soon-to-be-opened Congressional Medal of Honor Remembrance Park. From this vantage point, The Old Guard will continue to stand watch over America’s fallen heroes.

"Rain, snow, or sunshine as you know these guys walk the walk, so we're here to dedicate this section of the tip land to the Old Guard," proclaims Wayne Hanson, Chairman of the Board for Wreaths Across America. "We certainly appreciate everything they do for us."

The afternoon event culminated with a concert — free for all veterans and active duty military — at the Balsam Valley Amphitheater, co-sponsored by Wreaths Across America, where the U.S. Army Drill Team, Continental Color Guard and Fife and Drum Corp performed along with the U.S. Army Field Band Six-String Soldiers before the featured act.

You can find more information on the Wreaths Across America's Remembrance Tree program here.


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