Veterans' service remembered through wreath program

OUR VIEW: A fitting way to honor memories of veterans

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. The event started in 1992 at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C., and now has sites in every state.

The community is invited to attend this event at the corner of Route 7 and Sharp Hill Road.

After the ceremony, volunteers will meet at the Nebraska Veterans Memorial Cemetery to unload more than 1,500 wreaths that were donated through a fundraiser coordinated by Mandee Lade from Grand Island Express.

"We are not here to 'decorate graves, '" said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.

The ceremony will be held at the Forest View Cemetery, Rowley Street, Winsted.

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The project received national attention in 2005, when a photo of the headstones with Worcester's wreaths circulated on the internet.

Although the number of cemeteries participating in Ottawa County has been reduced, the committee plans to cover every military veteran gravesite in the entire county over a four-year period, from 2016 to 2019. Not all of the graves will get a wreath, but someday that is the goal.

Wreaths Across America is free and open to the public. It is with this in mind that this year's theme for National Wreaths Across America Day - Saturday, Dec. 16 - is "I'm an American". Wreaths will be laid at each grave in the cemetery in honor of their service and sacrifice.

Rolling Thunder, a veterans advocacy group, will lead the event at the veterans section of the cemetery.

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