Annual wreath-laying effort set for Saturday
December 12, 2012 1:06PM
Farm Bureau members and farmers volunteered their livestock trailers to store the wreaths and unload the truck for Operation Care Package for Dec. 15 Wreaths Across America.
Updated: January 15, 2013 3:32PM
At 11 a.m. Saturday, members of surrounding communities will gather together to honor veterans during the holiday season as part of the annual Wreaths Across America Day.
Retired U.S. Air Force MSgt. Daniel K. Schlikka and Operation Care Package members have volunteered to conduct the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery. Seven ceremonial wreaths will be placed to remember all soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who served, honor their sacrifices and teach younger generations about the high cost of our freedoms.
More than 4,400 wreaths are slated for delivery to Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery, where more than 31,000 veterans buried.
The ceremony will also have a flag line consisting of 150 American flags standing tall and held by veterans, active military members and ROTC. If you are a veteran and would like to participate in the flag line, arrive by 10 a.m..
Volunteers will be hosting a free luncheon following the event for volunteers and attendees at Stone City VFW, 124 Stone City Drive, Joliet. To donate toward the event or sponsor a wreath for next year, call Debbie Smothers at 815-723-6960.
The Wreaths Across America story began more than 20 years ago when the Worcester Wreath Company from Harrington, Maine initiated a tradition of donating and placing wreaths on the headstones of fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery. Recognition of the service and sacrifice of veterans and their families is especially poignant during the holiday season.
Wreaths Across America’s mission is to remember, honor and teach: remember the fallen; honor those who serve, including their families; and teach children the cost of the freedoms we enjoy each day. The mission’s belief is: ‘The nation which forgets its defenders will soon be forgotten,” said President Calvin Coolidge.
Wreaths Across America pursues its mission with wreath-laying events amid the holiday season and year-round educational outreach. This year, the group projects more than 400,000 wreaths will be placed nationwide by more than 150,000 volunteers as part of the mission.
For more information about the group, call 877- 385-9504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Edwards is looking for veterans or veteran-related stories or events to write about in this column. She can be reached at 815-773-7172 or email@example.com.