American Legion to hold Wreaths Across America
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Tue., Nov. 13, 2012
On Dec. 15, throughout the world, Americans will lay wreaths at the graves of veterans, honoring them for the holiday season as part of the 20th Wreaths Across America celebration. In South Windsor, the American Legion Post 133 will be holding its third annual Wreaths Across America program at Veteran's Memorial Park on Saturday, Dec. 15, at noon.
“The goal is to remember and honor our veterans, and teach our young people that the freedoms we have have come, and still come, at a great cost,” said Senior Vice Commander Art Sladyk, of the American Legion Post 133.
The event is free and open to the community, and takes place rain or shine. After a ceremony at the park, volunteers will place the wreaths at veterans' graves in town. South Windsor has graves of American veterans going as far back as the French and Indian War and Revolutionary War.
Wreaths Across America started in 1992, when Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Maine, brought his surplus wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery and placed them on graves. The act soon turned into an annual tradition. It is held across America as well as in in 23 foreign cemeteries, and the Navy celebrates it on seven seas. Wreaths Across America honors all branches of the military, the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, as well as Merchant Marines. POW/MIAs are also honored.
Worcester originally brought 5,000 wreaths – last year, 93,000 wreaths were placed in Arlington. Worldwide, about 330,000 wreaths were placed last year. "Connecticut has more participation than any other state in the union right now,” said Sladyk. “Texas is right behind us.”
The main goal of the post is to lay a wreath at the grave of every veteran buried in South Windsor, totaling to nearly 1,000. In 2010, 50 wreaths were donated, and last year, 450.
“We've had a lot of great support from the community, both corporate and civic organizations, plus individual donations from our citizens,” said Sladyk.
A single wreath is $15. Those interested in making donations can mail checks, payable to Wreaths Across America, to American Legion Post 133, P.O. Box 1030, South Windsor, CT 06074. For more information, contact Sladyk at 860-648-1711 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.