Wreath-laying at Windsor cemetery honors veterans

By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor - posted Wed., Dec. 18, 2013
Some of the oldest gravesites in the cemetery were adorned with wreaths by Carmon Community Funeral Homes. Ninety gravesites were adorned. Photos by Jennifer Coe.
Some of the oldest gravesites in the cemetery were adorned with wreaths by Carmon Community Funeral Homes. Ninety gravesites were adorned. Photos by Jennifer Coe.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, wreaths were laid on the final resting places of hundreds of thousands of veterans all across the country.  In Windsor, despite blowing snow and temperatures in the teens, a group of caring residents came out to commemorate soldiers with the simple gesture during the observance of Wreaths Across America.

What began as a quiet event in Maine has become an annual, nation-wide effort to thank and honor those we have lost through our nation’s history.

Locally, Carmon Community Funeral Homes hosted the laying of the wreaths at Windsor Veterans Memorial Cemetery, and were determined to go forward despite the weather.

“I knew it would be early in the storm, and much like funerals, when you have all the participants lined up, i.e. ministers, Boy Scouts, etc., you want to respect their time and they may not be available at an alternate time,” said Jay Carmon. “We received a total of 90 wreaths, 20 of which the funeral home bought to place in the front of the oldest section, which the Boy Scouts helped in laying,” said Carmon.

Local Troop 149 assisted in the ceremony.

According to Carmon, the Hispanic Veterans of Hartford and the American Legion have been holding a ceremony in Windsor for the past four years. This was first year that the public had the opportunity to purchase wreaths for individual graves.

A quiet group of residents attended, some of whom had family members buried in Veterans Memorial Cemetery. After the playing of “Taps” was completed, they gathered around boxes of green, live wreaths.  As each group took one or two, they began the frigid walk from one end of the property to the other to lay a wreath on the white headstones.

Michele Stillman, a Windsor resident, felt it was important for her two boys to be there and participate in the ceremony.  “We came to be involved because I have wanted to find ways to involve my children in serving others,” said Stillman. “Wreaths Across America allows us the opportunity to learn and serve together as a family.”  For Stillman, it also had a more personal tie. “It is a way for me and my children to honor my dad, who served in Vietnam,” she said.

Ninety wreaths were laid in all.

“Ultimately, I was very happy with how everything turned out, and look forward to this ceremony growing every year,” said Carmon. “Our town should take great pride in our Veterans Cemetery. Not every town has one, and there are so many inspiring people who have a rich history with the town of Windsor that are interred there.”

“It was a simple and beautiful ceremony, and such a meaningful experience,” said Stillman.

For more information about Wreaths Across America, go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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