Orange County’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery will host a Wreaths Across America (WAA) ceremony at noon on Saturday, Dec. 18. The event will be held rain or shine.
During the ceremony, the county will also display its “Tree of Heroes,” which will be adorned with pictures of veterans and their loved ones, along with notes written to them from children throughout the county. The 19-acre Veterans Memorial Cemetery has 13,400 plots and has 3,600 veterans and their spouses currently interred there.
Wreaths, which are $15 each or three for $30, can be purchased at the Veterans Service Agency (VSA), 111 Craigville Road, Goshen, or online at wreathsacrossamerica.org using search code NYOCVM.
The tradition of laying wreaths to honor veterans began in 1992, when Morrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, had extra wreaths at the end of the holiday season. Worcester remembered a boyhood trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and decided to donate 5,000 wreaths to be placed on the headstones of an older section of the cemetery. By 2014, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid over 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and the sites of the Sept. 11 tragedies.
“The feedback we have received from hosting Wreaths Across America ceremonies in the past has been tremendous and we look forward to this year’s in-person event,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “It is a truly wonderful way to bring our community together during the holiday season and pay tribute to those who served our country.”
For more information, call Dave Andryshak at 845-494-3768.