A favorite saying of military veterans holds that “Some Gave All.”
One veteran in Clay County wants those veterans remembered. He’s working to ensure the memory of fallen veterans is kept alive by keeping their graves decorated.
No military grave will go forgotten, as far as Excelsior Springs resident Kit Smith is concerned. The former United States Navy electronics technician wants to make sure the graves of every U.S. military man or woman in Clay and Ray counties bears a commemorative wreath.
Once per year, smith and his teenage son, C.J., visit local cemeteries where they decorate military headstones with fresh greenery. Smith says he believes every veteran is worthy of our respect, even after they’ve been gone for a while.
Smith says it worries him, seeing the gravesites of deceased veterans going neglected, as immediate family members of those vets also pass on.
“When a veteran signs up, he signs up and he gives a blank check to the United States of America. These guys gave of themselves,” Smith said. “It’s important that we recognize that.”
Smith says he modeled his effort, which is called Citizens For Veterans, after a national military honor group called Wreaths Across America, which is known for placing similar wreaths on gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.
“It’s a love of your country,” Smith said.
“The military doesn’t pay very well. It didn’t make me a wealthy man. It’s just one day to give recognition for the sacrifice these people gave,” he continued.