Volunteers remember fallen heroes with holiday wreaths

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SALT LAKE CITY — The holiday season is a time to spend with family and friends and even a time to remember those no longer with us. While departed loved ones can be forgotten, a group of people at Fort Douglas Cemetery Saturday morning worked to change that.

The group is part of movement called Wreaths Across America. It's a nationwide effort to place wreaths on the graves of those who fought for our freedom.

“For many of them, there are no living relatives,” said Teota Coppock, whose son served in Iraq. “It’s just a really incredibly sweet gesture.”

Salt Lake City's fallen were remembered Saturday by active military, ordinary citizens and those with family members who served.

Coppock's son Brandon joined the military after 9/11 and served two tours of duty in Iraq.

“About eight months into the second (tour), he was killed," Cappock said. "They were traveling back to base, and there was an IED buried in the road that was detonated by a cellphone.”

An ordinary day for Coppock turned into one she’s carried with her every day since.

“It was really only a few hours after his death that we received the knock on the door, the dress uniforms, and the message that you don’t want to hear," she said.

That day became a part of her, and so will this one.

Even in the icy rain of a cold December morning, those who were forgotten are remembered.

“These days are tough, because you remember what you’ve lost and what all of these families have lost,” Coppock said. “But it’s special at the same time because you know that your family and these families will never, ever be forgotten.”

Contributing: Keith McCord

Email: rboone@ksl.com


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