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Wreaths show gratitude for veterans

Wreaths show gratitude for veterans

The annual wreath-laying ceremony was held Saturday.

Preceding the placement, Tom Carpenter, town historian, told the history of the cemetery and of a few of the better known deceased buried in there including U.S. Army Brigadier General Frank Leo Howley, a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Hampton. Volunteers who place a wreath on a veteran's grave are encouraged to say that veteran's name aloud and take a moment to thank them for their service to our country.

"There was a pretty good turnout for their first year", he said.

Any woman 18 years or older who can prove lineal descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence is eligible to join.

Wreaths Across America is observed on the third Saturday of each December. This year, 245,000 wreaths were placed on grave sites at Arlington alone, and a total of 1.2 million were expected to be placed on markers in 1,238 locations across the country, as well as overseas.

Consider all the ways this country would be different without the sacrifices made by veterans in wars since its very beginning, said Lt. Col. Richard Jurkowski, USAF (Retired).

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Morrill Worcester of Harrington, Maine, started the event in 1992, when his wreath company had a surplus of holiday wreaths, and he donated them to Arlington.

Ashley Furniture Inds. recently hosted a public wreath-laying ceremony at Memorial Park in Arcadia, Wis., to honor veterans for their service. "We're here to remember not their deaths, but their lives".

"This is a time that families get together", he said, "and this is a time that we need to remember those who can't be here".

"They are more than just a statistic", she said. And the people really enjoy seeing it. As one of the largest corporate supporters of WAA, Walmart donated $215,000 to help purchase more than 23,000 wreaths for placement at national cemeteries and memorial sites around the USA, including Great Lakes National Cemetery.

Kilgore's shipment of wreaths is likely to arrive today or Thursday, Applewhite noted Tuesday, and will be placed by Ace of Spades Squadron cadets and other volunteers as soon as possible.


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