On September 1, AFSP hosted a wreath laying ceremony to honor veterans and first responders lost to suicide at Arlington National Ceremony. This is the first time a suicide prevention organization has hosted a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
Researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs last year found that the risk of suicide for veterans is 21 percent higher when compared to civilian adults. From 2001 to 2014, as the civilian suicide rate rose about 23.3 percent, the rate of suicide among veterans jumped more than 32 percent.
“This is an important opportunity to recognize and honor all the men and women, past and present, who served in our military and have died by suicide,” said Robert Gebbia, AFSP CEO. “We are hopeful that by honoring those we’ve lost, we will shed light on the issue and inspire others to talk about mental health and reach out when they are in need of help. This reaching out takes courage – courage we know these men and women possess.”
Video from the ceremony, which was live-streamed, may be seen below. (NOTE: Due to a technical malfunction, the video appears vertical up until the 2:30-minute mark.)
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