"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wreaths Across Our Corner of America

Today, we attended the ceremony for the “Wreaths Across America Foundation”. Our local Civil Air Patrol has spent the past 3 months selling wreaths to the community for this event. December 11, was the day scheduled across the nation to lay the wreaths.

This is a nation wide program started in 1996 by one man, Morrill Worchester of Harrington, Maine. As a child he had observed an elderly woman placing a wreath on a veteran’s grave at Christmas time. It had a profound impact on him that stayed with him for a lifetime. When he took over the family business, Worchester Wreath Company, he founded the program that fulfilled his desire as a youth: to place a wreath on the grave of every fallen soldier in America. It was to become an extension of the wreaths laid at Arlington National Cemetery. His expectations were surpassed, as wreaths are now not only laid throughout America, but also in military camps in foreign lands where our soldiers have fallen.

It was a short, but moving ceremony. After colors were presented and 7 ceremonial wreaths were laid representing each of the military branches, the cadets went to work laying the wreaths through out the cemetery. The general public was also invited to help lay the wreaths. There were a few veterans and a few family members of the cadets that helped lay the wreaths.

Attendance was not the greatest, but this is to be expected for a first time effort in our area. With a goal to sell 1083 wreaths so that one could be laid on every veteran’s grave that is buried in our two local cemeteries, the cadets sold roughly around 240 wreaths. The caretakers at the cemetery had previously marked each veteran’s grave with a green flag, in order for the grave of the vets to be easily found in the snow. I heard several cadets say it was sad to not be able to lay a wreath on every grave that had been marked. It touched me to see such caring. Nevertheless, it was a fine tribute and I’m sure it will grow each year. I was impressed by the generosity of the community in donating to such a worthy cause, and I am very proud of our cadets.

No comments:

Post a Comment