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Wreaths Across America

Emily Pettis and Marissa Schimke, Staff Writers

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December brings in many holly jolly feelings across the world. People giving to one and other in many different ways. Christmas time also brings a time where people come together to help one and other. Many organization hold volunteer hours to where people can come help out during this time. Wreaths Across America being one of these organizations.

“I enjoy getting involved with the community and I’m ready to lay some wreaths this weekend,” Alyssa Keller said.

What is Wreaths Across America?

Wreaths Across America is an annual tradition at the VA and fort cemeteries. The wreath laying is supposed to help remember those who have served in the military. There are about 22,000 graves at the Leavenworth Cemetery. Their goal is to fill at least one section of these graves each year. In order to lay wreaths on these graves. Wreaths across america is a non profit organization and people must donate these wreaths in order to have them laid out. This years theme is “I am American. Yes, I am.”

“I participate in the annual wreath laying every year because I enjoying getting to learn new stories. All of the wreaths I lay, I look up the service men and learn what they did in the military. Its such an amazing experience and I strongly encourage that others go out and help,” the parent of a Lansing High School student, Deena Larson, said.

What happens?

On the third Saturday of each December, volunteers gather around at each cemetery and remember our heroes. It first starts with a little ceremony honoring all branches of the military including POW and MIA. During the ceremony they will tell you which sections they will be laying the wreaths in. After the ceremony is finished through, they ask all volunteers to start lining up at the trucks that are filled with wreaths. When laying the wreaths, they ask every person who lays them out to say their name out loud and thank them for their service. They believe that its not just a wreath laying, they believe its a remembrance for all their lives.

“I really enjoy going out every year and getting to help out this organization. It makes me feel like a good person for volunteering my time” senior Ashley Pettis said.

How to get involved?

To get involved in Wreaths Across America you can go to their website and see which cemeteries near you are holding a ceremony. Then you may participate if you choose too. Another way of participating is by donating a wreath. With each donation .86 cents go to transportation of these wreaths. This year it will be held on December 16th. They will need plenty of help and would love to see you come help. They had more donations than usual this year, so they will be covering more graves than usual. If you are interested in helping out you can visit the website at http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/#for-the-living

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