Thompson wreath ceremony one of hundreds held nationwide

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Mon., Dec. 17, 2012
The Wreaths Across America ceremony drew these residents to participate. Photos by D. Coffey.
The Wreaths Across America ceremony drew these residents to participate. Photos by D. Coffey.

The monument on the Thompson Commons was the site of a Wreaths Across America ceremony on Dec. 15. Those who gathered joined Americans at more than 500 locations across the country to honor the men and women who gave their lives in service to their country.

Members of the Sarah Williams Danielson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution coordinated the ceremony in Thompson. Vice Regent Vicki Martin and her husband Michael ensured that a box containing the seven wreaths representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and POWs/MIAs were available. Jane Ellison, chair of the Good Citizen's Committee, was the program leader for the event.

WAA is in its 15th year. Begun by Maine businessman Merrill Worcester, the event has grown in size and stature. The organization's mission to “honor, respect and teach” is carried out in simultaneously-coordinated ceremonies across the country. Wreath-laying and state house ceremonies are held in all 50 states on a specified Saturday in December. This year, that date was Dec. 15.

Korean War veteran Norman Babbitt laid the wreath for all POWs/MIAs. He shared some thoughts with the crowd during the ceremony. Babbitt and Worcester used to play together as young boys, but it was only a few years ago that Babbitt realized his connection to the WAA founder. Since that time, he has gotten involved whenever possible. He joined the convoy of WAA vehicles as they made their way through Auburn, Mass., on Dec. 10. He was moved by the presentation and the crowd of more than 500 that had gathered at the Auburn Elks Club. “Wherever you go, look at these wreaths,” he said. “Think about what they mean.”

Those who participated in the wreath-laying included Al Cormier (Army), Michael Martin (Navy), Jane Ellison (Marines), William Warner (Air Force), Larry Groh (Coast Guard), Lucille Langlois (Merchant Marines) and Norman Babbitt (POW/MIA). Similar ceremonies were held in Brooklyn, Putnam, Pomfret and Scotland.

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