Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization best known for its annual wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 1,640 locations nationwide and overseas, in which 1.8 million veteran wreaths are placed. The mission is to Remember, Honor, and Teach about the service and sacrifices of our veterans and to help our children understand the value of freedom.
With over 5,000 veterans buried in Tioga County cemeteries, local organizers are looking for an overwhelming response from individual families to go to a cemetery in Tioga, Northern Bradford, and Susquehanna Counties and place a wreath on a veteran’s grave and at the main entrance to the cemetery.
Gold Star Mothers and Families who have lost a son in the service of our country in any war will have a wreath at their son’s grave. Families of veterans are encouraged to place a wreath at their veteran’s grave.
The local vision of 100% coverage for 2019 is an ambitious initiative and can be achieved.
Here’s how. Each family participates. All veteran and auxiliary organizations have active involvement. All churches and their youth groups participate. Active support comes from all community organizations, businesses, individuals and school children.
Success depends on people buying or making a wreath for a veteran’s grave and taking it to the cemetery of their choice. Churches help by taking the initiative to adopt a cemetery and place a wreath at its main entrance. Pastors may briefly explain the Wreaths Across America program in their Sunday services.
Veteran organizations are encouraged to hold wreath-laying services at their community’s veteran’s memorial to include Nichols American Legion for Town of Nichols area and their new veteran’s memorial, the Waverly VFW and American Legion and Auxiliaries for the Village of Waverly and Town of Barton areas, the Sayre VFW for Valley cemeteries, Candor American Legion for the Town of Candor area and their new Veteran’s Memorial; Spencer Van Etten VFW for the Town of Spencer area.
Veterans from Newark Valley, Berkshire, and Richford take the lead for their communities since they don’t have an organized veterans group at this time. And Owego area veterans are asked to check cemeteries in the Town of Owego and Eastern Town of Tioga areas.
Owego Boy Scout Troop 60, honoring the 18 Fallen Heroes buried in overseas cemeteries, will place evergreen wreaths with red bows in front of the Tioga County Veterans Memorial. Price Chopper in Owego also donates the wreaths to be placed at the WWI, WWII, Tioga County service, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq / Afghanistan, and Tioga County Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Memorials. These wreaths recognize the sacrifice our veterans and their families have made for our country.
Desert Storm and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of Modern Warfare will actively participate. In the past they have made illuminated displays at Maple Grove and the Nichols Cemetery. They’ll be asking Scouts in both communities to make additional wreaths.
For Wreaths Across America, Owego and Tioga County began the practice of honoring her fallen heroes who served and sacrificed for our freedoms, and expanded the program to all veterans in December 2007.
The Dec. 14, 2019 objective is a Christmas wreath on each veteran gravestone. A Gold Star Mother stated, “You will never, ever forget the first wreath that you lay, it just touches your heart.”
To report what you’re doing or to find out more about the importance of the Tioga and Northern Bradford and Susquehanna County Wreaths Across America Program or if you’d like to make a voluntary contribution, contact Glenn A. Warner Post 1371, Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial, Veterans, Pearl Harbor ad Wreath Day Chairman Jim Raftis by calling (607) 687-4229 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.