Wreaths Across America ceremony Dec. 14

The Coweta Veterans’ Club will place seven memorial Christmas wreaths, honoring Coweta’s war dead, on Dec. 14 at noon.

This is the fifth year of local participation in what is now a national program, Wreaths Across America . WAA started in 1992 when Merrill Worchester, owner of Worchester Wreath Company, made a donation of 5,000 wreaths for Arlington National Cemetery.

WAA remained an annual Arlington event until 2003, when news photos captured the majesty and spirit of wreaths against marble crosses. Soon other communities and national cemeteries asked for wreaths.

Last year, the small Columbia Falls, Maine company supplied more than 400,000 wreaths, supported solely by grants, bequests and donations from corporations and individuals.

John O’Connor, a local Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion member, coordinates the placing of the seven ceremonial wreaths to honor Coweta’s war dead. The wreaths are placed at Veterans Memorial Plaza in the city park at Jackson Street and Temple Avenue.

The local wreaths honor those who gave their lives in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the War On Terrorism. A wreath is also placed on the plaques honoring the five military services and the POW-MIA’s.

The program will be brief and will include participation by the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Veterans, the Marine Corps League and the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. The public is invited to attend the program and join with local veterans to remember those who gave their lives in defense of America and the free world.

“Each and every Christmas that we enjoy and the gifts of freedom and peace we cherish are possible only because men and women died to preserve them,” O’Connor said. “These wreaths are our way of saying, ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Thanks.’”

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