Christmas wreaths will soon adorn the graves of local veterans thanks to Wreaths Across America, and are residents can sign up now to sponsor a wreath.
Residents of Onslow County will participate in a ceremony on Dec. 14 to will lay wreaths at each grave site at the Coastal Carolina State Veterans Cemetery. Last year more than 420,000 wreaths were laid nationwide.
“Wreaths across America has a motto of honoring, teaching and remembering,” said Pat Walker, the Onslow County representative for Wreaths Across America. “What they do is honor the veteran’s service, teach the up and coming generation what we owe veterans and to remember that veterans should never ever be forgotten.”
Additional to wreaths being laid at each grave, a wreath for each branch of service will be laid around the flag during the ceremony. A representative for each branch will be responsible for laying the wreath. There will also be a wreath laid for Merchant Marines as well as prisoners of war and those missing in action.
“The reason we do this is two-fold,” Walker said. “No. 1 it gives people the opportunity to place a wreath on a vet’s grave in an actual ceremony that remembers our veterans. Secondly, there are many veterans in Coastal Carolina cemeteries who no longer have families in the area. There is no one to remember them at Christmas; and by doing this, we don’t forget our veterans ever.”
Last year more than 200 people showed up for the ceremony; and this year, Walker hopes that even more will show up. The best memory Walker has since she got involved with Wreaths Across America is a woman purchasing wreaths for each veteran surrounding her son’s grave — a total of 20 wreaths.
“Christmas and Thanksgiving are a time when family get together,” Walker said. “These vets who can’t be with us, this is a way to show them we haven’t forgotten them and that we still care and that is very important at the holidays.”
Wreaths are $15 each and can be purchased by mailing a check or money order to Wreaths Across America, P.O. Box 7325, Jacksonville, NC 28540. The wreaths can be designated for a certain section or plot number and will be placed the day before the ceremony.
For more information, call Pat Walker at 910-545-9333 or firstname.lastname@example.org.