Wreath-laying ceremony to honor veterans Saturday

Published: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 9:17 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 9:17 p.m.

A nationwide day to honor veterans will include a Saturday wreath-laying ceremony at Forest Meadows East Cemetery Military Garden of Honor.


What: Local Wreaths Across America ceremony.

Where: Forest Meadows East Cemetery Military Garden of Honor, 3700 Hawthorne Road.

When: Noon, Saturday.

Now in its second year, the local Wreaths Across America event has grown from the laying of 30 wreaths last year to about 400 this year, said Ed Van Buren, the chaplain for American Legion Riders Post 16, the veterans motorcycle group that organizes the event.

“We’re going to be able to put wreaths on every veteran’s grave in the Garden of Honor,” Van Buren said. “That’s not too shabby in our second year.”

The ceremony begins at noon Saturday at Forest Meadows East, 3700 Hawthorne Road.

Van Buren said Wal-Mart, the Daughters of the Revolution, the Civil Air Patrol and the Sons of the Revolution each contributed to this year’s event.

While the local event is in its second year, county Veterans Services Advisory Board Chairman Don Sherry said Wreaths Across America dates back 20 years.

It began in 1992 with a Maine Christmas wreath company. That year, Worcester Wreaths had an excess supply of about 5,000 wreaths and made arrangements, with the assistance of Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe, to schedule a wreath-laying ceremony on an older, less-visited area of Arlington National Cemetery, according to WreathsAcrossAmerica.org

Twenty years later, the event has grown to about 800 locations across the country and will include almost half a million wreaths, according to the Wreaths Across America nonprofit organization.

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