Wreaths Across America ceremony set for Dec. 10

Mary Perham

Efforts are gearing up now for the annual “Wreaths Across America” ceremony, set for Dec. 10 at the National Cemetery in Bath.

The program, officially recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2008, includes wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and overseas.

The wreath ceremony began almost 20 years ago, when Maine businessman Merrill Worcester discovered he had a surplus of wreaths. Worcester arranged for the wreaths to be transported to a seldom-visited section of Arlington National Cemetery as his tribute to the armed forces.

The quiet tribute gained attention and momentum with ceremonies in more than 300 locations in 2008. More than 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves.

Last year, 220,000 memorial wreaths were laid at 545 locations in the United States and beyond.

This year’s ceremony is being coordinated by Steuben County American legion Commander Padraic O’Hare of Wayland.

Anyone interested in donating to the event year may order wreaths by calling (877) 385-9504 or ordering online at wreathsacrossamerica.org The website also provides forms for orders by mail.

O’Hare said donors should use the Bath National Cemetery ID Number, NYBNCB, to ensure wreaths are sent to the Bath location.

Any veterans, active duty personnel, veterans groups, school, teams, organizations, churches and businesses interested in participating in the wreath laying ceremony should contact O’Hare at padraicohare@gmail.com.