Wreaths Across America provides the connection for citizens to unite in a common cause showing gratitude and respect for our fallen hometown heroes. The balsam fir Veterans' Remembrance Wreath is a fresh, aromatic symbol of those healing connections. It's a catalyst for sharing memories of gallantry and spreading a message of love.

Freedom is not free, and it comes at great sacrifice for families who volunteer for uniformed service to the nation. Some give the ultimate sacrifice of a loved one and are often left in sorrow to wonder if other citizens remember or appreciate what they gave up for liberty and justice for all.

"Growing up, my little brothers were alright, but my big brother Colby was my best friend, and we did everything together," shared Casey Boehmer. "From the day that I was born, he made it his job to make sure I was happy and safe 100 percent of the time. He had a huge heart and taught me so much about how to love and treat others. He taught me how important it is to smile, always, to love always, and to always stand up for what is right. There was no better role model to have than my big brother. It was like having my own superhero."

Casey's "superhero" grew up to become known as 1LT Colby J. Umbrell 1-501 25th ID out of Fort Richardson Alaska. In 2007 when Casey was 23, her big brother Colby was KIA in Iraq. She became a Gold Star sibling.

Casey shares one of her favorite military pictures of her brother Colby

Casey shares one of her favorite military pictures of her brother Colby

In a precious and inspiring speech, Casey went on to share more cherished memories with the audience of Gold Star families, veterans and other dignitaries assembled at Silver Lake Elementary School in Middletown, Delaware.

Just as it did in 2016, the welcome ceremony provided to the Annual Wreath Escort to Arlington National Cemetery by the students, faculty, staff and school community at Silver Lake left a lasting impression on those in attendance. Thank you!

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