Several Scouts from Novato played a big part in the Wreaths Across America ceremony Dec. 15 at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno.
Alexa Martinez from Novato Girl Scouts Cadette Troup 31710 and Emma Hartley from Junior Troup 30303 joined Eagle Scout Ian Hartley at the event. After a sit-down presentation, the Scouts placed wreaths on graves of military veterans. Alexa, 12, is a sixth-grader at Sinaloa Middle School; Emma, 10, is a fifth-grader at Sunninghill Academy; Ian, 15, is a sophomore at Sonoma Academy.
Ian had a specially assigned job: placing a wreath on the headstone of one veteran to heed the request from an out-of-state donor. A video clip of that action was emailed to the donor in Florida, who responded with appreciation.
The ceremony included an appearance by: the Patriot Guard, a motorcycle riders group that pays tribute at veterans events; the Stuart Highlanders pipe band out of Menlo Park, a presentation of colors by a Civil Air Patrol cadet squadron; and words of tribute from representatives from the military branches. The event concluded with a rifle salute, the playing of "Taps" and a rendition of "God Bless America."
"It was amazing to see all the people who have fought and stood up for our countries ideals, honor and freedom," wrote Kat Martinez, Alexa's mother. "We are all interconnected and cannot continue our current path without honoring those that have paved the way."
Golden Gate National Cemetery, built in 1941, is a congressionally authorized cemetery for military veterans and their families that rests on 161 acres just of Highway 280.