Published Sunday, December 09, 2012

Christmas wreaths to honor Coweta's war dead

By ALEX MCRAE

alex@newnan.com

The Coweta Veterans Club will place seven memorial Christmas wreaths, honoring Coweta’s war dead, in ceremonies at noon Dec. 15 at the Veterans Memorial Plaza.

The plaza is located in the Newnan city park at the corner of Temple Avenue and Jackson Street.

This is the fourth year of participating in what is now a national program, Wreaths Across America.

The Wreaths Across America event began in 1992 when Merrill Worchester, owner of Worchester Wreath Company, made a donation of 5,000 wreaths for Arlington National Cemetery. It 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 Columbia Falls, Maine, company supplied 300,000 wreaths, supported solely by grants, bequests and donations from corporations and individuals.

John O’Connor, a VFW and American Legion member, was instrumental in Coweta’s participation. He made the original request for seven wreaths to honor our local war dead from WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and the War On Terrorism.

Wreaths are also placed on the plaques honoring the five military services and the POW-MIAs.

“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.”

The Newnan program will be brief and will include 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 this program and join with the veterans to remember those who gave their lives in defense of America and the free world.

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