Laying of wreaths honors veterans buried at WNY National Cemetery
CORFU — Whether they were from the GLOW region or just outside of it, people came to the Western New York National Cemetery today to honor a veteran by placing a wreath at the veteran’s headstone.
The cemetery hosted a wreath-laying ceremony as part of National Wreaths Across America and after the speakers, including Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia, who grew up in Orleans County and graduated from Lyndonville High School, took their turns at the podium, family members of those buried there and volunteers could place the wreaths.
Bellavia said not everyone buried in the Western New York National Cemetery died in combat defending this country.
“But every single person buried here in the future and presently was willing to give their life for this country,” he said. “There is nothing more sacred than that. And the fact that we choose to stand in this weather and remind every single person that if you serve your country at a time of war or a time of peace, that you will be a part of the family.”
Bellavia called today’s Army, “the world’s largest adoption agency.”
“It doesn’t matter where you came from ... We are blood forever. And every Christmas, no matter if you’re living or you have passed on, there will be a reminder that you were here, that your service counted, that it’s valued, that it’s appreciated,” he said. “I am so proud and I am so grateful to the elected officials who made this (cemetery) a reality. This is a world-class facility. It’s in our backyard and we will remind every young person who drives by, this is an area of patriots that are willing to serve their country at any time.
“God bless you for coming out here. Merry Christmas. May God bless everyone and our service and may God have mercy on anyone stupid enough to threaten our way of life. Because, I’ll tell you what, we’re going to ruin their day,” Bellavia said.