The Worcester Wreath Company has donated wreaths for grave sites at Arlington National Cemetery since 1992. Located in Maine, the company created the "Wreaths Across America" campaign in 2006 and began donating holiday wreaths in tribute to veterans laid to rest at Veterans Administration national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries.
Adrienne Benton is director of the national cemeteries located in Sturgis and in Hot Springs.
“There’s a small ceremony here at the cemetery where we discuss what Wreaths Across American is and what it means to our veterans in remembering them,” explains Benton. “Then there’s a ceremonial placement of each of the branches of service wreaths. Then we ask the volunteers that are out there for the ceremony to help us take wreaths and go place the throughout the cemetery.”
Benton notes that the mission of "Wreaths Across America" is to remember, to honor and to teach.
“I really like the saying they have on their web site,” Benton comments. “It says a person dies twice. Once when they take their final breath…and later the last time their name is spoken.”
Volunteers taking part in the placement of wreaths throughout the cemeteries are asked to say the name of the veteran whose grave they’ve chosen so that his or her legacy may be remembered once again.
Holiday Wreath-laying to Honor Veterans
Who: Members of the Knights of Columbus, representatives from the military services, veterans and their families.
When: POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER AT STURGIS. Re-scheduled date/time TBA
Wreath-laying at Hot Springs National Cemetery is scheduled for Dec. 18, 2016, at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Black Hills National Cemetery
Address: 20901 Pleasant Valley Drive, Sturgis SD 57785
Hot Springs National Cemetery
Address: VA Medical Center, Hot Springs, SD 57747
Contact: Adriene Benton, Cemetery Director Office: 605-347-3830