Wreaths Across America to honor Island veterans

A special Wreaths Across America ceremony to honor veterans nationwide starts at noon on Saturday, Dec. 11, at American Legion Post 257 at 47 Martin Rd. in Vineyard Haven. Everyone is invited to attend.

The ceremony takes place at the same time as similar ceremonies at more than 500 locations in the U.S.

After the ceremony, specially designated wreaths for the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine, and POW/MIA will be displayed on the directory at the Avenue of Flags in the Oak Grove Cemetery.

The Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, donates the specially made wreaths. For 19 years the company has provided more than 5,000 holiday wreaths to place on every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery.

Wreaths Across America (WAA) was formed as a nonprofit organization to extend the Arlington ceremony to national and state veterans’ cemeteries, monuments, and community centers across the U.S. In addition to ceremonial wreaths, civic groups nationwide make donations to sponsor wreaths.

This year, WAA expects 100,000 volunteers nationwide will place more than 200,000 wreaths in its mission to “remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach our children the value of freedom.”

Jo Ann Murphy, Dukes County Director of Veterans Services, arranged for the Vineyard’s participation in the wreath program starting in 2006.

For more information or to sponsor a wreath, call Ms. Murphy at 508-693-6887 or visit the website WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.