MASON COUNTY — Although Veterans Day is passed, local members of the Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution are still working to honor the memory of veterans in Mason County.
According to Diana Johnson, the chapter’s Chairman of the Service to Veterans Committee, at noon on Dec. 15, in Pioneer Cemetery, chapter members will be working in conjunction with “Wreaths Across America” to honor deceased Mason County Veterans by placing wreaths on their graves. It was reported that “Wreaths Across America” will provide one free wreath for each branch of service. Locals may also support the chapter’s efforts by sponsoring a wreath, and each wreath will be $15.
To sponsor a wreath, contact Johnson at 304-675-8844 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Johnson also noted since orders must be submitted to “Wreaths Across America” by Nov. 26, those wishing to sponsor a wreath should do so quickly. Johnson added that family, small business and corporate sponsorships are also available, and if enough wreaths are sponsored then chapter members will also place wreaths on graves located in Suncrest and Lone Oak Cemeteries.
Johnson also stated the chapter’s ultimate goal is to eventually place wreaths on every veteran’s grave in Mason County.
“This is a huge undertaking but certainly worth our effort,” Johnson said.
“Wreaths Across America” reportedly began with Morrill Worcester and the Worcester Wreath Company. When Worcester was young, he was able to visit Arlington National Cemetery which was said to have had a large impact on him. Reportedly, Worcester realized later in his life that his success as a businessman was made possible because of those buried in Arlington National Cemetery and other veterans.
It was reported that in 1992, the Worcester Wreath Company had many extra wreaths at the end of the holiday season and Worcester saw an opportunity to put the wreaths to use. In conjunction with Maine Senator Olympia Snowe and the Maine State Society of DC, the extra wreaths were placed on the graves at Arlington. Reportedly, Worcester vowed to provide wreaths for Arlington every year.
Worcester’s efforts expanded nationwide in 2006 with the help of the Civil Air Patrol and many others. That year, 230 ceremonies honoring veterans were held across the country and “Wreaths Across America” was born.
Since 2006, “Wreaths Across America” has grown even more, with help from other organizations and smaller local groups, such as the Colonel Charles Lewis Chapter, and is working towards the goal of placing a wreath on every veteran’s grave.