Local Wreaths Across America observance honors service people
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Lebanon - posted Tue., Dec. 13, 2011
All over the United States on Saturday, Dec. 10, groups gathered to remember fallen heroes and honor those who serve in the military service by laying wreaths as part of the Wreaths Across America observance.
With a mission of “Remember, Honor, Teach,” Wreaths Across America was founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. In addition to organizing a parade of trucks, friends and escorts from Maine to Arlington every December, the group helps facilitate recognition ceremonies across the country. This year in Connecticut alone, there were 64 wreath-laying ceremonies listed on the Wreaths website. Locally, there were ceremonies scheduled for Lebanon, Hebron, Coventry and Scotland.
In Lebanon, a ceremony in front of Town Hall was facilitated by Boy Scout Troop 180, the Sons of the American Revolution and the Lebanon American Legion. Boy Scout Chris Konow served as the emcee, with his fellow Troop members providing the Color Guard. Current and retired service people from the American Legion laid wreaths for each branch of the military, and for MIAs and POWs of all American wars. The Sons of the American Revolution provided an artillery salute. Following the ceremony at Town Hall, there was a second observance held at the Trumbull Cemetery.
According to the Wreaths Across America website, there is a special significance to the placing of live evergreen wreaths. “We are honoring all veterans and active military by placing wreaths on the headstones of veterans,” it states. “The fresh evergreens are a symbol used for centuries to recognize honor, and a living tribute renewed annually. We want people to see the tradition as a living memorial to veterans and their families, whom we remember amid the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. We believe that the sacrifices they made are more than worth the effort.”
Wreaths Across America provides free “Thank You” cards for presenting to “any veteran you know, meet or see to thank them for their service.” They also offer free downloadable educational curriculum for middle school and other age groups. Go to wreathsacrossamerica.org for more information.