Wreaths Across America program goes on at VA National Cemetery in Cecil
The inclement weather did not keep people away from the VA National Cemetery of the Alleghenies in Cecil for the Wreaths Across America program.
Among a crowd of more than a thousand participating were 50 who rode the bus from Connellsville with Linda Shearer's Connellsville Area High School Patriots group. Saturday marked the sixth year the CAHS Patriots participated in the event, held at national cemeteries across the nation on the same day.
“It's really excellent,” said senior Bethany Lonce, 17, of Connellsville, who was making her first trip to the ceremony. She placed a wreath on the grave of Doward S. Johnson Jr., an Army sergeant, born in 1956, who died in 2006.
For Kaylyn Johnson, 17, also a senior from Connellsville, the ceremony held special meaning.
“My dad (Jay Johnson) was in the Army in Iraq,” she said, looking out at the rows of white tombstones. “At least, he made it back.”
It was the second year Johnson participated.
“It's very amazing, very nice,” said Josh Soltis, 17, a junior from Connellsville, who is a member of the Junior ROTC program at the school. It was his first time attending the ceremony. “I've always wanted to be at this kind of ceremony. I have a lot of relatives who have served in the military.”
Brooke Snyder, 15, a sophomore, also from Connellsville, said it was her second time. “It's a humbling experience,” she said.
Snyder plans to attend again next year.
After all the wreaths assigned to the group were placed in front of tombstones in section 2, they boarded the bus for the return trip to Connellsville.
Those wishing to donate can sponsor a wreath through Wreaths Across America. The cost this year was $15. The website is www.waastore.com and other items can be purchased.
The CAHS Patriots raised enough money to place 327 wreaths on veterans' graves this year.
Wreaths Across America started 22 years ago when Worcester Wreath Co.donated Maine wreaths to adorn the headstones at Arlington National Cemetery. A nonprofit organization was formed to expand the program across the nation. The goal is to decorate every veteran's grave for the holidays.
The Cemetery of the Alleghenies is just off Interstate 79 in Washington County near Bridgeville.
Karl Polacek is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-626-3538.
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.
- wintry wrath on the Horizon
- Geibel distributes new computers to each student
- Fayette officials reappoint dead man
- Connellsville looks for ways to raise money, cut expenses
- South Connellsville mayor charged with transferring gun without council permission
- Demolitions worry Connellsville health board
- Major storm skips past Fay-West area
- Connellsville finances discussed
- Measles warning issued to Connellsville
- Porterfield: Donegal Christian school plans blood drive
- 3 donors to match, help ministries reach campaign goal