Yuma UMC youth “adopt” forgotten veterans during the holidays

December 07, 2017
Story and photos submitted by Pastor Jaime Nieves
Yuma United Methodist Church, Yuma, Colorado

In Psalm 116:15, the Psalmist writes, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.” This scripture holds special meaning for the youth at Yuma United Methodist Church – especially during the holiday season.
On Saturday, Dec. 2, the kids went to the Yuma Cemetery to lay wreaths that they had decorated themselves at the gravestones of the “forgotten” veterans that didn’t have families or money to pay for a burial. Deacon Brown, one of the youth, stated, “I thought it was very important because we put wreaths on all the graves that belonged to people who couldn’t afford to bury themselves. This is because they had no family or money, so the state buried them.”

Owen Glenn added, “The reason that I wanted to do the wreaths was to thank veterans for protecting our country.” And Owen’s older brother, Ethan, reflected, “The reason that I wanted to decorate the wreaths for the veterans was because the graves that we chose were for veterans that had very poor families or no families at all, so the government paid for their burial and gravestones.  I think that it is important that we share the Christmas spirit with those who protect or have protected our country.”
The wreaths are brightly adorned with holiday ribbons, pine cones, and bows so that the lives of these courageous saints will be appropriately celebrated and commemorated, and to help remind the community that these “forgotten” veterans should never be forgotten.
The Yuma UMC youth hope that cemetery goers will view these homemade memorials as an invitation to experience a renewed sense of gratitude for the lives we are blessed to live because of the sacrifices made by these brave veterans.