December 15 has been designated as National Wreaths Across America Day. An effort is made to cover every veteran’s grave with a wreath in a ceremony where a specially made wreath is laid by a person who whispers that veteran’s name and says a short prayer. This is not simply a way to decorate graves. It is a way to remember the veteran by name and to honor all those who fought for freedom. Go to https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/our-story and read about the history of this now worldwide honor for past United States Veterans. In laying a wreath, we remember, honor, and teach.
As a member of the Daughter’s of America John Bartram Chapter of The Villages in Florida, I attended this ceremony at Shiloh Cemetery in Fruitland Park. Due to rain, the ceremony itself was held in the American Legion Post 219 and sponsored by The American Legion Family of John Geila Memorial Post 219. Although the ceremony seemed long, it was well organized and flowed quickly from one speaker to the next. The laying of the seven wreaths by Veterans from each military service brought pride to everyone in attendance. Due to the overcast, sprinkling weather, many uniformed veterans and their wives braved the overcast, sprinkling weather and laid wreaths upon the 127 veteran’s graves at Shiloh Cemetery. I was touched with the knowledge a wreath had been placed on my father’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery. I hope to attend one of these ceremonies each year on December 15.