Wreaths event draws record participation
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the debut of Wreaths Across America, an annual ceremony that was created to assure that fallen veterans were honored at Christmastime by supplying wreaths for their final places of rest.
The event started in Arlington National Cemetery and quickly began to spread to other national cemeteries across the county.
Organizations, groups and individuals collect funding for the event, which is then used to purchase the wreaths that are laid on the graves of the veterans.
Since 2005, the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville has held a Wreaths Across America program, welcoming visitors every year to the program to lay the thousands of wreaths on the graves.
“The freedom that we enjoy does not come without a price,” veteran and program organizer John Kenes said at this year's ceremony. “Together we mourn their loss while together we celebrate their lives.”
The ceremony this year included the laying of the military branch wreaths by the Civilian Air Patrol and short presentations by other speakers present.
“The circle of the wreath is something that goes on forever,” said guest speaker Congressman Tim Murphy. “We are here to remember those people who are laid here to rest in peace, in unity and in spirit.”
A record amount of wreaths were purchased and placed this year, tallying 5,032 in all.
“This is a wonderful program, and the crowd this year was awesome,” Kim Trice of Pittsburgh said.
Trice brings her father to the ceremony every year and was amazed by the large turnout.
“There usually isn't half this many people here for this,” Trice said. “This is incredible and very touching.”
About 40 members of the Connellsville-based “Patriot's Club” took a bus to the event, with students and adults taking time on the brisk morning to lay wreaths for fallen heroes.
“I think that this is a just an awesome thing,” Avonlea Keedy, 15, said. “It's great to see so many people here.”
Garrett Snyder, 15, said he was pleased to see such a large crowd at the event.
“I'm amazed at the show of support,” Snyder said. “It gives me chills to see all this.”
Patriot Club member Lily Jiang said that this was her first time to the event, and she looks forward to a return visit.
“I'd love to come back here and visit,” Jiang said. “It's so big, and it's really an interesting place. I'll be back next year.”
Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- South Connellsville mayor charged with transferring gun without council permission
- Senator opens Connellsville office
- 3 donors to match, help ministries reach campaign goal
- Big future seen for former Fayette grocery warehouse
- Twin pizza shop owners in Connellsville rise to The Challenge
- Lynn: Brownfield Seniors schedule Valentine Dinner
- Fayette County relies on Westmoreland response team for pet rescues
- Conn-Area, Geibel Catholic open houses Sunday
- Everson dealing with water issues
- Sign for McCray Robb Bridge correct; legislation to make it official pending