Wreath-Laying at Arlington National Cemetery by Trottier Middle School!

Caroline Freeman and April Davis, Staff Writers

Wreath layers: Caroline Freeman, Alden Mehta, Camilla Manz, and Andrew Sedzia walking to the Tomb of Unknown Soldier.

On Friday, November 10, 2017, the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery was emotional and intriguing. The wreath layers for Trottier Middle School were Caroline Freeman, Alden Mehta, Camilla Manz, and Andrew Sedzia. They had the honor of laying the wreath at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier. The spectators were from a variety of schools. The laying of the wreath at The Tomb of The Unknown Soldier is a highly honored job that respects all the soldiers who died in battle that couldn’t be identified. For many people, this touches them because they have relatives who were in the battle or served in the military.

Caroline Freeman and Camilla Manz followed the guard of the tomb and placed the wreath on a stand in front of the tomb while Alden Mehta and Andrew Sedzia stood next to another guard. The wreath had a ribbon with Trottier Middle School printed on it and the school’s colors.  After the wreath was laid, Caroline and Camilla walked back to the other guard and their classmates and put their hands on their hearts while the trumpet played “Taps.” At the end of the ceremony, the students went back to the balcony area. The ceremony was complete, and everybody moved on.

According to Mr. Lavoie, choosing the wreath layers is a long and thoughtful process that the seventh-grade teachers start because they know the eighth-grade students best. The seventh-grade team starts by nominating the students. Then, the specials teachers have input on the nominations. The list is then passed to the eighth-grade team to discuss and finalize the list. Mr. Lavoie and Mr. Hreschuk made the final decision.  Mr. Lavoie also added, “It goes way back before me. Wreath laying has been something our school has participated in for at least 30 years.” In addition, he mentioned, “We are respecting the people who died in defense of our country.”

Planning for next year is already in process. In fact, Mr. Lavoie started when the eighth graders returned from Washington, D.C. He already has confirmation for next year’s wreath-laying ceremony.