Diane Belden and Reggie Langford place a wreath at Diane’s father’s grave.
On Dec. 14, there will be wreaths placed at all 341 veterans’ graves at Catawba Island Cemetery, thanks to the efforts of Diane Belden and Reggie Langford. Belden and Langford, through the non-profit organization Wreaths Across America and local contributions, will be coordinating a ceremony to accompany the laying of the wreaths.
The 11 a.m. ceremony will feature presentations by Sen. Randy Gardner, an honor guard, 21 gun salute, taps, and the Boy and Girl Scouts. The public is invited. Those who wish to place the wreaths on the graves of their veterans are encouraged to do so. At the same time at over 900 cemeteries across the country, the Wreaths Across America will be placed, from Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia to Catawba. The Catawba Cemetery is the only one at present participating in Ottawa County.
Wreaths Across America was begun at Arlington in 1992 by the Worcester Wreath Company of Maine. In 2006, it was expanded nationwide. In 2012, with the help of thousands of individuals , corporate sponsors and volunteers, 420,000 wreaths were placed. The goal is for every veteran’s grave to have a wreath. For more information, go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.com.
After the ceremony, The Catawba Island Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary will provide refreshments at the Catawba Fire Station.
For more information, or to make a contribution (it is $15 to sponsor a wreath, but contributions of any amount are welcomed) contact Belden at 419.967.0650 or Langford at 419.265.0573.