DAYTON — Wreaths Across America is taking orders for wreaths to be laid on veteran’s grave sites next month.
Families can order wreaths for their loved ones who served in the armed forces. On Saturday, Dec. 17, beginning at 12 p.m., thousands of wreaths will be laid throughout designated areas of Dayton National Cemetery, 4400 W. Third Street.
The wreath ceremony will take place at the cemetery’s monument and will feature guest speaker Judge Dennis Adkins from Montgomery County Veterans Court, and a representative from each branch of service (including a representative for Gold and Blue Star Families, POWs, and MIAs.) There will also be a rifle volley salute and the playing of Taps by VA Honor Squad volunteers, and the presentation of colors at the event, which is themed “Find a Way to Serve.”
Members of the Sons of the American Revolution and the American Heritage Girls will present wreaths to service members who will place them at the gravesites. Northmont and Beavercreek High School JROTC cadets will assist in the wreath laying along with the Patriot Guard Riders, a veterans motorcycle group.
“Last year, 6,100 wreaths were laid at the cemetery (there are over 59,749 veterans laying in state at the cemetery),” said Margaret Kruckemeyer, secretary of the Dayton National Cemetery Support Committee. “Eventually, we hope to have a wreath on every veteran’s grave.”
The personal remembrance wreaths are $15 and there is a “patriot pair” program which offers a wreath for the gravesite of the veteran and one delivered to the designated participant at their home (such as a widow, son, daughter, etc.) which runs $30 plus shipping.
The military pair runs $34.50 plus shipping. This option includes one sponsored veteran’s wreath delivered to a participating location of your choice, plus one military tribute wreath delivered to the address of your choice.
The 22-inch fresh balsam fir wreaths come adorned with a red bow as well as an American flag and military branch flag of your choosing.
“Christmas is a special time of remembering,” Kruckemeyer said. “Evergreen represents everlasting life and the circle of the wreath represents no beginning and no end.”
Justin MacKellar, local chair of the national organization — which began in 2006 — hopes to have several local area participants who will take orders in their office. The Xenia Gazette, home of the Greene County Dailies, 1836 W. Park Square, will take wreath orders until Nov. 29.
For more information, or to become a sponsor/volunteer, go to WreathsAcrossAmerica.org /ohdncd or contact MacKellar at 937-475-7641.