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Orange County’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery will host a Wreaths Across America ceremony at noon on December 15th.
“Last year was the first time that we hosted the Wreaths Across America ceremony and it was both well-attended and very touching,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “The feedback we received was tremendous and we were pleased that event was such a success. We look forward to hosting this ceremony again in December. It is a truly wonderful way to bring our community together during the holiday season and pay tribute to those who served our country. We look forward to hosting the ceremony again this year and hope that you’ll support it by donating or volunteering.”
Wreaths can be purchased until November 26th at the Veterans Service Agency (VSA), located at 111 Craigville Road in Goshen. Wreaths are $15 each or three for $30. Sponsor donations in any amount are also welcome. Checks can be made out to “Nam Knights M/C” with WAA 2018 on the memo line
The VSA is also seeking volunteers for the ceremony. The 19-acre Veterans Memorial Cemetery has 12,500 plots. Approximately 3,400 men and women are buried there, including 2,700 veterans.
The tradition of laying wreaths to honor veterans began in 1992, when Morrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, had extra wreaths at the end of the holiday season. Worcester remembered a boyhood trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and decided to donate 5,000 wreaths to be placed on the headstones of an older section of the cemetery. By 2014, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid over 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites of the September 11 tragedies.
This was accomplished with help from 2,047 fundraising groups, corporate contributions, and donations of trucking, shipping, and thousands of helping hands. The organization's goal of covering Arlington National Cemetery was met in 2014 with the placement of 226,525 wreaths.
“The Wreaths Across America ceremony allows us to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for this great country in a special way,” said Christian Farrell, the County’s Veterans Service Agency Director. “We are proud to once again take part in this meaningful event with our partners in the veteran community. The County’s goal is to put a wreath on every grave in the cemetery and, with the support and volunteerism of the community, that goal is well within reach.”
For more information about the County’s Wreaths Across America ceremony, contact Dave Andryshak at 845-494-3768.