When John and Susan McColley lost their son, Eric, in a military helicopter accident, a movement was born. The Sgt. Mac Foundation is a non-profit organization formed to honor the memory of Marine Sgt. Eric McColley. Eric was killed along with seven fellow Marines and two airmen when two Marine CH-53e helicopters collided off the coast of Djibouti, Africa, on February 17, 2006.
Each November for seven years now, John and Susan McColley and a group of volunteers and donors have placed wreaths at the graves of veterans buried in the Soldiers’ National Cemetery at Gettysburg National Military Park.
Last Friday, a crowd of approximately 120 volunteers began the job of placing 7,000 wreaths on the graves in the cemetery, taking two days to complete the task. A Junior ROTC unit from Catonsville, Maryland, helped out, as did a fifth grade class from Gettysburg’s Lincoln Elementary School. Superintendent Bob Kirby and numerous elected representatives also assisted.
The wreaths will be in place until mid-January.