Islanders invited to lay a wreath across America ceremony

A special Wreaths Across America ceremony to honor veterans nationwide takes place at 10:30 am Friday, at the directory at the Avenue of Flags in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven. Students from the Tisbury School will participate in the event.

Similar ceremonies will take place in more than 400 locations in the U.S. and around the world on Saturday.

Veterans Services Officer Jo Ann Murphy moved the Island ceremony up by one day to avoid activities of Christmas in Edgartown.

The Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, is donating the specially made wreaths.

For 20 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.

Ms. Murphy arranged for the Vineyard’s participation in the wreath program starting in 2006. In addition to ceremonial wreaths, civic groups nationwide have made donations to sponsor wreaths to place on veterans’ graves in designated sections of participating cemeteries.

WAA mission is to “remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach our children the value of freedom.”

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