Former mayors place wreath at Tomb of Unknown Soldier

By Mike McClure

Last Tuesday a group of representatives from the town of Delmar visited the Arlington National Cemetery where two former mayors who are veterans placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The group consisted of town department heads, Delmar Town Manager Jeff Fleetwood, and former mayors Bill Brittingham and Doug Niblett.

The honor guard is shown with the town of Delmar’s wreath, which was placed at the tomb of the unknown soldier last week at Arlington National Cemetery.

According to Town Manager Jeff Fleetwood, the trip was done as a team building exercise. Instead of having the staff lay the wreath, he chose the town’s two senior former mayors who also happen to be veterans.

“I think it was a win-win for everybody,” Fleetwood said. “It was a good trip.”

“It was very interesting and very moving,” said Niblett.

“It was quite an honor. I thoroughly enjoyed it all, especially the changing of the guard and putting the wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the town,” Brittingham said.

Fleetwood said staff members called it one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.

The group saw the honor guard prepare for the wreath laying ceremony. Niblett said the experience of seeing the honor guard’s dedication was very eye opening. 

“It’s something that will stay with me for a long time,” he said. “I really didn’t know individuals and towns could do that.”

“It was quite a day, I really enjoyed it,” said Brittingham, who also enjoyed seeing the eternal flame for President John F. Kennedy. “It was a lot of things that I never would have seen if I wasn’t invited by the town.”

Fleetwood is hoping to do a road trip with staff members each year. Next year he is looking to take a group to the White House.