Gravesite holiday wreaths meant to honor veterans

From staff reportsNovember 13, 2012 

A file photo shows approximately 600 wreaths on gravestones at the Raleigh National Cemetery in 2010.

RICHARD STRADLING — 2010 News ; Observer

— The organizers of several wreath-laying ceremonies in North Carolina are looking for sponsors willing to buy holiday wreaths to place on the graves of veterans around the state.

The ceremonies are part of a nationwide effort called Wreaths Across America, which was inspired by a Maine company’s annual donation of wreaths to be placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington. Seven years ago, after a photo of snow-covered stones adorned with the wreaths circulated on the Internet, the idea spread to veterans cemeteries and monuments across the country and overseas.

Twenty-two wreath-laying ceremonies are scheduled in North Carolina on Dec. 15, including ones at Historic Oakwood Cemetery in Raleigh, Hillcrest Cemetery in Cary, the main post cemetery at Fort Bragg and the veterans memorial at the State Capitol.

The largest local wreath ceremony is sponsored by the Samuel Johnston Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution at Raleigh National Cemetery, 501 Rock Quarry Road. Last year, the organization raised enough money for 1,033 wreaths, a fraction of the 5,000 graves in the cemetery.

Each wreath is $15. For more information or to sponsor a wreath, go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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