Volunteers will place holiday wreaths at Department of Veterans Affairs national cemeteries on Saturday, Dec. 10, to honor the Nation's Veterans.
"This generous gesture to remember our Veterans at this time of year shows that Americans cherish the service and sacrifice of these heroes," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki. "The volunteers who turn out for this event show America's heartfelt, true holiday spirit."
At most locations, the Civil Air Patrol organizes wreath-laying ceremonies with assistance from local citizens and Veterans service organizations. All 131 VA national cemeteries receive wreaths, one for each military service branch, one for the Merchant Marines and one for prisoners of war and those missing in action.
This is the sixth year that Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, is distributing wreaths to all VA national cemeteries and state Veterans cemeteries in a nationwide program called Wreaths Across America. It is the 20th year that the Company -- which created the program -- will send thousands of wreaths to be placed at individual gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery and other locations across the country. Company President Morrill Worcester seeks to recognize Veterans, active duty military and their families, and his goal is to remind the public to remember Veterans and teach children the value of freedom.
Community organizations, school groups and individuals have been purchasing and placing wreaths at Veterans cemeteries across the country for several years and hundreds are expected to do so again this week.
For more information about the event at local national and state Veterans cemeteries, call the cemetery's administration office, or visit the VA Web site at http://www.cem.va.gov/ or the Wreaths Across America Web site at http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/.