St. Paris and Urbana were two of 2,557 locations nationwide to participate in National Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday. The annual event is staged by Americans in every state to honor United States heroes by placing a total of 1.7 million veterans’ wreaths on their headstones and remembering them, by saying each name out loud.
Oak Dale Cemetery in Urbana and Evergreen Cemetery in St. Paris each held ceremonies. Wreath sponsors fund the annual event each year for $15 per wreath. The direct link for sponsoring local wreath placement is www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/OH0175P . This link takes donors to the local Daughters of the American Revolution effort that is part of the larger national event.
Kim Snyder, Urbana DAR chapter regent, said, “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 … .” This year’s event was modified this year due to the pandemic concerns in order to adhere to social distancing measures and prevent spread of the virus.
“The 2020 theme for Wreaths Across America has been ‘Be an American worth fighting for,’ and this year I have been blessed to see my fair share,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America, based in Columbia Falls, Maine. “The determination of the American people and their commitment to the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach made it possible for us to move forward this year, safely. We are humbled, and forever grateful for the outpouring of support from all across the country.”
Wreaths Across America issued a statement on Saturday thanking the dedicated volunteers in every state for overcoming the many obstacles presented and remaining focused on the mission over the last year. “From the individual location coordinators working with local officials on modified wreath placement plans, to the professional truck drivers who have been keeping this country moving but found time to help deliver these truckloads of respect, each person has played an important part in the mission to Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve and their families, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom,” according to the statement.
Each live, balsam veteran’s wreath is a gift of respect and appreciation, donated by a private citizen or organization and it is placed on graves by volunteers as a small gesture of gratitude for the freedoms Americans enjoy, according to the event organizers. For centuries, fresh evergreens have been used as a symbol of honor and have served as a living tribute renewed annually. Wreaths Across America believes the tradition represents a living memorial that honors veterans, active duty military and their families and when volunteers say the name of a veteran out loud, when placing a wreath, it ensures they live on in our memory. For more information, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
About Wreaths Across America
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.
For more information or to sponsor a wreath visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.
Information from Wreath Across America.