Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County hosted a Wreaths Across America ceremony on Saturday, December 15th at the County’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery.
“The response we received from this event last year was overwhelming and we were proud to host the ceremony again,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “Once again, the ceremony was a tremendous success, and we appreciate the outpouring of support we received from residents throughout the County. Hundreds of residents attended the event, which is a testament to how committed Orange County is to our veterans.”
Approximately 3,000 wreaths were laid during the ceremony by 200 volunteers at the 19-acre Veterans Memorial Cemetery which has 12,500 plots. About 3,400 men and women are buried there, including 2,700 veterans. Wreaths Across America is a national event, which pays tribute to the military’s fallen heroes during the holidays. More than 1,200 cemeteries across the nation participated in the event on Saturday, with volunteers laying approximately 700,000 wreaths.
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 close 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.
“I want to thank County Executive Neuhaus for his continued support of Wreaths Across America,” said Christian Farrell, Orange County’s Veterans Service Agency Director. “I also would like to acknowledge my staff for all of the time and effort that they put into organizing this ceremony. We were proud to take part in this meaningful event with our partners in the veteran’s community and have been overwhelmed by the number of residents who want to make sure all the brave servicemen and women buried at the Orange County Veterans Memorial Cemetery are remembered this Holiday season.”
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.