Ottawa County cemeteries that will host a Wreathes Across America ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. to pay a special tribute to area military veterans will include Catawba Island Cemetery, Sackett Cemetery on Marblehead, and the Elmore Union Cemetery and Clay Township Cemetery in Elmore.
The local Wreaths Across America groups that are supporting the laying of wreaths wants volunteers to join them for the special ceremonies, which include an honor guard and the playing of taps, and to help put out the many wreaths. While the ceremonies begin at 11 a.m., volunteers should arrive at the cemeteries at 10:45 a.m.
The Wreaths Across America, a national non-profit organization, promotes how important it is for Americans to: Remember our fallen U.S. Veterans. Honor those who serve. Teach your children the value of freedom.
In 2018, nearly 1.8 million veteran wreaths were placed on headstones at 1,640 participating cemeteries around the country in honor of the service and sacrifices made for our freedoms, with each name said out loud.
Each year, millions of Americans — a third of whom are children — gather in local and national cemeteries in all 50 states as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. Each year, a new theme is chosen to help volunteers and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in their own communities. The theme for 2019 is “Everyone plays a part.”
The inspiration for this year’s theme was a recommendation made by 10-year-old “Mighty” Miles Worcester, the grandson of the founders of Wreaths Across America. Last May, while in Washington D.C. for an event, Miles saw a U.S. Service member in uniform at the hotel where he was staying. As he always does, Miles walked up to the gentleman, reached out to shake his hand and thanked him for his service.
The military man’s response was simple and impactful: “Thank you…everyone plays a part.” Miles went directly to his grandmother, WAA Executive Director Karen Worcester, to tell her that he believed this statement would be the perfect theme because, as he said, “those serving in the military are doing their part, but it is our part as Americans to remember and honor them, and that’s what Wreaths Across America does.”
The millions of volunteers and supporters – from schoolchildren and educators, professional truck drivers, first responders, veterans, Gold Star and Blue Star families, to corporations and other nonprofits – devote so much of themselves to the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach, in their own communities. Each of them, playing a part in helping to plan and participate in local events and fundraising activities, sponsor and transport wreaths, and raise awareness.
When asked how he feels to know so many people across the country come together each December to Remember, Honor and Teach, Miles said without hesitation, “It makes me feel proud to be an American.”