Veterans Home to host wreath-laying ceremony on December 16

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Wreaths Across America is a ceremony to raise awareness and support efforts to cover each veterans' headstone at the local cemetery, which is located on Upper River Road just west of Grants Pass.

Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, was a 12-year-old-paper boy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip to Washington D.C. His first trip to our nation's capital was one he would never forget, and Arlington National Cemetery made an especially indelible impression on him.

The public event will feature U.S. Rep Ralph Norman, R-Rock Hill as guest speaker.

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.

Veterans Home to host wreath-laying ceremony on December 16
Veterans Home to host wreath-laying ceremony on December 16

Officially launching in 2005 via viral photograph, Worcester originally began placing wreaths at veterans' graves in 1992 when she and her husband used surplus wreaths from their Christmas wreath business.

It's all part of the annual Wreaths Across America convoy. National Wreaths Across America Day is a free community event open to all people. Not all of the graves will get a wreath, but someday that is the goal.

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. Each box holds nine wreaths.

Each branch of the USA military will be honored by a representative to receive a wreath on their grave to ensure that the individuals who served to protect the freedoms of our country never be forgotten and to bring the community together in patriotic commemoration. WAA participates in veterans' events throughout the year, and has a veteran liaison on staff to work with local veterans organizations.

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