On Saturday, December 13, Shell Deer Park’s Emergency Response team participated in Wreaths Across America at the Houston National Cemetery where more than 45,600 wreaths were laid upon our fallen heroes graves. An estimated 15,000 people passed through the gate that day to pay their respects and place a wreath.

“The cemetery is absolutely beautiful and is truly awe inspiring,” said Mike Knott, HSE Specialist.

Richie Walker, HSSE Manager at Deer Park, continued, “My wife and I were deeply moved by the event. Taking the time to participate was one of the best things we have ever done in our lives. As we walked to each grave site, paused, laid the wreath on the grave, straightened the bow and then spoke their names, I was moved to tears each time. I could feel the importance of saying the name, perhaps something that had not occurred for years. It was very impactful, for all the right reasons.

“The ceremony was equally powerful as we watched people that had served to create the freedoms we have today walk to the podium to place a wreath representing their branch of service. You could sense their pride as they slowly made their way down the aisle. For that moment, I’m sure they felt the appreciation for their personal sacrifices.

“It’s always nice to be a part of something seemingly bigger than life. In this case, it made me very appreciative of their sacrifices and how that has created the world that my family and I enjoy today.”

More than 800 locations participate worldwide to honor our fallen American serviceman or women. Next year, the goal for Houston is to put a wreath on every grave on site (more than 65,000 graves). Houston is second only to Arlington with the amount of graves and wreaths laid every year.

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