The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will conduct a special wreath-laying ceremony on Saturday at Oak Dale Cemetery, as part of the national “Wreaths Across America” project.
Started in Arlington National Cemetery, the project now encompasses more than 1,400 satellite locations across the country.
The local project will take place at noon on Saturday, Dec. 15, with a short opening ceremony. The Urbana VFW is providing a color guard and seven honorary wreaths will be dedicated – one each for Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and POW/MIA.
Volunteers will then adorn more than 500 veterans’ headstones with wreaths while thanking each by name.
“The ladies at Arlington say you die twice. Once when you expire, and again the last time someone says your name,” DAR Regent Kim Snyder said.
Support was gathered from the VFW, DAV and auxiliaries, the City of Urbana, Lions, Rotary, 4-H, Boy Scouts and Walter & Lewis Funeral Home.
Snyder said that Oak Dale is special because it has veterans from the American Revolution all the way to Afghanistan laid to rest in its soil. DAR will focus on laying wreaths at the graves of the oldest veterans first and hopes to make this ceremony an annual tradition, eventually draping each of the almost-1,700 veterans with a wreath.
Interested parties for sponsorship or volunteering should contact Project Chairman Pat Detwiler at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 937-465-4446.