BY D’ARCY PATRICK EGAN
Military veterans are revered around Ottawa County, with Veterans Day held last month encouraging residents to host a wide variety of special gatherings. On Saturday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m., residents will again be asked to celebrate the legion of military men and women hailing from this area as Wreaths Across America visits cemeteries in Ottawa County.
Wreaths Across American will be held at these Ottawa County cemeteries: Catawba Island Cemetery (Catawba Township); Sackett Cemetery (Marblehead/Danbury); Riverview Cemetery (Port Clinton); Union Cemetery (Oak Harbor); Harris Elmore Union Cemetery (Elmore area); Clay Township Cemetery (Genoa/Williston areas)
The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor and serve.
Wreaths Across America will be at Ottawa County cemeteries and cemeteries across America to remember and honor veterans through the laying of Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes and the act of saying the name of each and every veteran aloud.“We want to remember those who are no longer with us, honor those still serving, and teach children about the sacrifices they’ve made,” said Sara Toris, Director of Veterans Service, who serves on the Ottawa County Wreath Committee.
Everyone, including children, are welcome to attend and volunteer.
“We definitely encourage children to come. Boy Scout troops and Girl Scout troops are welcome,” Toris said. “It teaches them about veterans and the sacrifices they’ve given.”
Diane Belden heads the Ottawa County wreath project for the Catawba Island Cemetery.
“We have 450 veterans buried at Catawba Island Cemetery, and every one of them will get a wreath,” Belden said.
This year, the Catawba Island Cemetery will debut its new Veterans Wall and Memorial, a beautiful
brick edifice that has markers for each branch of the military, and the unique Empty Boots, Rifle and Helmet Memorial honoring veterans.
The helmet and identification tags signify the dead soldier. The inverted rifle with bayonet signals a time for prayer, a break in the action to pay tribute to our comrade. The combat boots represent the final march of the last battle.