Wreaths Across America Day programs will be held at Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana and at Evergreen Cemetery in St. Paris on Dec. 19.
The Wreaths Across America mission to Remember, Honor, Teach is the foundation behind all the organizations efforts. Throughout the year, local volunteers have been tirelessly working to make certain that families, loved ones and heroes get honored and remembered for the holidays. However, the challenge was doing so in a way that is consistent with safety and in compliance with local COVID-19 recommendations and mandates.
“COVID-19 has presented us with a difficult situation for public events such as the Wreaths Across America Day on December 19,” said Kim Snyder, chapter regent. “We at the Urbana Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution are committed to honoring our veterans. We have worked diligently to continue this effort while keeping people safe, including altering our promotions of the event, and modifying our procedures for the Wreaths Across America Day.”
Modifications have been made to ensure the continuance of National Wreaths Across America Day – Saturday, December 19 – and more importantly to show the families of the nation’s heroes appreciation for their ultimate sacrifice.
Oak Dale Cemetery
A noon ceremony will be held in the Soldiers Mound area of Oak Dale Cemetery, with the VFW/DAV Color Guard presenting flags.
Everyone is asked to spread out and take advantage of all the space that is available. Wreaths will be pre-positioned in the cemetery before the event, and volunteers will be given instructions after the ceremony so that wreaths may be placed in the safest way possible.
• Wearing masks strongly encouraged
• Socially distancing during ceremony and laying activities is requested
• Working in family units
• Anyone feeling ill (even if it is just a cold) not attending ceremony or laying
• Driving through after 3 p.m. on December 19 for viewing
A 10 a.m. ceremony will be held at Evergreen Cemetery, located at the corner of West Troy and South High streets in St. Paris.
Modifications this year will include the wearing of masks, socially distancing and a smaller ceremony. Those attending the ceremony are asked to pull into the cemetery and park off the main driveway.
The ceremony will begin at the flag pole/chapel area. Volunteers then will lay the wreaths on the graves marked with American flags. A total of 325 veterans are buried at Evergreen. They each will be receiving a wreath laid upon their grave by a volunteer; their name will be spoken aloud as the wreath is laid and they will be thanked for their service.
About Wreaths Across America
“Every $15 wreath sponsorship is a meaningful gift from a grateful American who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “Whether the wreath is placed this December, or next, know that your gift will be honored. We are so grateful to the good people of this great nation for participating in our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.”
To stay informed about changes to Wreath Day events or to sponsor a wreath for a local hero, visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/OH0175P.
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
This year’s National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, December 19. For more information or to sponsor a wreath, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
Submitted by event planners.