Wreaths Across America returns Dec. 17

Nov. 30—LUMBERTON — The annual tradition of placing Christmas wreaths on the graves of veterans continues on Dec. 17.

National Wreaths Across America Day will be observed locally with the placement of Christmas Wreaths at Gardens of Faith Cemetery on Fayetteville Road in Lumberton beginning at 10 a.m.

The local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8969 has participated in Wreath Across America five times and the event gets larger each year, organizers say. Last year 45 people sat aside time to honor the fallen military on the day. During that time a total of 250 — hand-crafted of balsam and hand-tied with a velvet bow in Columbia Fall, Maine — were placed on graves at the Gardens of Fairth cemetery.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King designating Saturday "Wreaths Across America Day." A convoy of volunteers will travel from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery to lay Maine-made balsam wreaths at the headstones of American veterans interred there.

"Wreaths Across America is a powerful demonstration of respect and appreciation for our veterans — both those that we've lost and those still with us," said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. "We are so proud that this heartfelt expression of gratitude originated in our great state and has become an enduring symbol of our nation's gratitude for veterans' valor and sacrifice. This resolution remembers and honors America's veterans this holiday season, while also teaching younger generations of the sacrifices that have been made to secure our freedoms and to defend our liberty."

So far this year, more than 100 wreaths have been sponsored for placement at the Gardens of Faith Cemetery. Wreaths can be sponsored by searching for the local veteran's post at wreathersacrossamerica.org. Each wreath costs $15 to sponsor. Once purchased, the wreaths will then be sent to the local volunteer post. That volunteer will then "say their name" to ensure that the legacy of duty, service and sacrifice of that veteran is never forgotten.

Tomeka Sinclair can be reached at sinclair@robesonian.com or 910-416-5865.