Fallen Heroes tree lighting ceremony held at State House

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) —

A tree lighting ceremony was held at the State House for the fallen heroes of South Carolina.

According to Major General Van McCarty, South Carolina’s Adjutant General, the tree holds over 600 gold stars, with each star representing a lost service member.

“We would just ask all the citizens of the great state of SC to hold these heroes in their thoughts and prayers during the holiday season,”  says Major General McCarty.

April Woolsey lost her husband Jay in 2003.

“The hardest times are the holidays because we miss our significant others. We miss your mothers. We miss our children. And there’s never a day that goes by that’s made easier, we just learn how to cope,” says Woolsey.

Gold Star mother Elaine Johnson lost her son, Army Specialist Darius Jennings, in 2003.

“The pain will never end. We just find things to kind of slide past. But we will never forget. And we don’t want the state of SC or nobody to forget the sacrifices that our family made. I’m not gonna let you forget. But you know — we’ll never let the state of SC forget who we are. We are special. Our children paid the ultimate sacrifice,” says Johnson.

Governor McMaster thanked the families of those who served saying, “I’m confident that I speak for all South Carolinians when I say we appreciate those who are willing to step forward and protect and defend the Constitution and the United States of America, and that spirit lives no place stronger in this country than in SC.”

The ceremony is put on by SC’s Survivor Outreach Services.

Categories: Local News, Midlands Military Matters