Organizations in Carmichaels and Connellsville are once again seeking sponsors for Wreaths Across America, a national campaign that honors those who served.
Carmichaels Women’s Civic Club, along with the American Legion Post 400 and Carmichaels Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3491, want to raise enough funds to place wreaths on the graves of 342 veterans buried at Laurel Point Cemetery in Carmichaels.
“I think that most, if not all, of the Carmichaels Women’s Civic Club members have known someone who had served or is currently serving in the military. Participating in the National Wreaths Across America program is one way that our club is able to show its gratitude to these service men and woman,’’ commented Andrea Semenoff, club president.
“Our club members are grateful for their service and for the sacrifices that these men and women have made for our country,’’ Semenoff continued. “Also, our club supports the mission of Wreaths Across America: Remember, Honor, Teach; Remember our fallen U.S. Veterans, Honor those who serve, and Teach our children the value of freedom.”
CAHS Patriots in Connellsville are raising funds to place wreaths on graves at National Cemetery of the Alleghenies, located in Bridgeville, Washington County.
Linda Shearer, founder and board secretary, commented, “It is probably one of the most humbling experiences to pick up a wreath and go to one of the white headstones and whisper a thank you that I have all the freedoms I have every day of my life.’’
Sponsorship for a wreath is $15 and is tax deductible. Checks should be made out to “Wreaths Across America.’’
Deadline for sponsorship for the Carmichaels organizations is Nov. 18. Checks should be sent to the Carmichaels Women’s Civic Club, P.O. Box 453, Carmichaels, PA 15320. For more information, call 724-966-2486.
Deadline for sponsorship for CAHS Patriots is Nov. 24. Checks should be sent to CAHS Patriots, 304 Stadium Road, Connellsville, PA 15425.
Wreaths Across America services will take place at noon Dec. 14 in cemeteries throughout the nation. In Carmichaels, a remembrance ceremony will be held at Laurel Point Cemetery. CAHS Patriots will participate in a remembrance ceremony at the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies.
In addition, CAHS Patriots are inviting people to come with them to the ceremony. A bus leaves about 8:30 a.m. and returns about 4:30 p.m. Dec. 14. There is no charge for transportation. Only cost is a stop for lunch. Reservations are due Dec. 1 and can be made by contacting Shearer at 724-322-1494.
Wreaths Across America started in 1992 when Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Co. in Maine, decided to deliver a surplus of wreaths near the end of the holiday season to Arlington National Cemetery, a place he first saw as a 12-year-old paper boy when he won a contest to visit the nation’s capital, according to the Wreaths Across America website.
Worcester received assistance for the project from U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe, of Maine, and other individuals and organizations, including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War posts.
The website reported the tradition continued quietly until 2005 when a photograph of the tombstones covered with snow and adorned with wreaths appeared on the internet. Thousands of requests poured in of people wanting to help. The movement spread with Wreaths Across America forming in 2007.