Roger Van Middendorp and Alyssa Heinrich place a wreath at the grave of the Unknown Veteran during a Memorial Day service at the Tracy Cemetery. Tracy (CA) Press photo by Glenn Moore.

TRACY, Calif.—“Following the principle of standing stones in Joshua, we teach our children the importance of remembering those who have given their lives so that we are free to worship,” says Susan Heinrich, wife of Pastor Timothy Heinrich of Crossroads Baptist Church.

Each year the City of Tracy has a Memorial Day service at the local cemetery. As part of this service, local organizations such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Lions Club lay wreaths at the Tracy Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and give a short speech about their organization and what the wreath is placed to honor. “For the past six years,” says Susan, “Crossroads JOY Clubbers have participated in this ceremony, laying a wreath in memory of those who died for our religious freedoms.”

The JOY Club concludes each year with this ceremony, as graduating sixth graders give the speech and lay the wreath. This year all of Crossroads’ core families showed up, in uniform, to place the wreath. Glenn Moore of the Tracy Press interviewed the sixth graders, including Alyssa Heinrich, 12, who said, “It’s a special day—sort of sad, they gave their lives for us. The men who died for our freedom, they gave us the freedom to worship. I know someone serving in the military today, and it makes me want to keep praying for him.”