Wreaths Across America

Ceremony honors memory of fallen veterans

by Bradley Hartsell


Dick Stender of the VFW & the American Legion, was one of the three speakers at Saturday's 'Wreaths Across America'

On Saturday, members of Coweta veterans organizations took part in the Wreaths Across America observance ceremony in Newnan.

The memorial, which is recognized nationwide, included representatives of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution, Marine Corps League, the American Veterans and the American Legion.

Despite heavy rainfall, veterans gathered at Veterans Memorial Plaza in the city park at Jackson Street and Temple Avenue to place seven wreaths at the memorials and to salute the memory of those listed.

“We’re thankful a few hardy souls got out there and braved the weather,” said commander of the VFW post in Newnan, Jeff Carroll.

“We honored a lot of people who wish they could have been out there in the rain with us.” Carroll said they set up tents to get people out of the rain as much as they could.

This was the fifth year of local participation for an event that was started in 1992. WAA started 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.

“It’s an opportunity for us to get together and bridge the thankfulness of Thanksgiving and the joy of Christmas and take the time to recognize those who served and are no longer here with us,” Carroll said.

“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,” VFW and American Legion member John O’Connor said. “These wreaths are our way of saying ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Thanks.’”

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