The New Cumberland Garden Club will once again be sponsoring the Wreaths Across America event for the New Cumberland Cemetery. Started over 25 years ago by Merrell Worcester of Maine, the event has grown bigger each year. Mr. Worcester didn’t want to waste any of the pine trimmings left over from his tree farm, so he decided to put them to good use. The first wreaths were donated to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. Now wreaths are placed every December on veterans’ graves across America and beyond.
All of our veterans, past and present, have given their service to protect our freedoms, and this is just one way to honor their contributions. The motto of Wreaths Across America is “Honor, Remember, Teach.” The motto reminds us to honor and remember the veterans who have served and to teach people, especially young people, about what service to country is all about. Every year in December, volunteers in all fifty states show up at cemeteries for the solemn task of laying a fresh pine wreath on the graves of as many service men and women as possible.
So far this year, the garden club has received donations for 206 wreaths, surpassing the total of 165 from last year. There are 450 veterans buried in New Cumberland Cemetery, and the club would like to honor as many as possible with a wreath. If you would like to donate funds to purchase a wreath, the cost is $15, and the last day to purchase this year is November 26. For those who are interested in buying a wreath for a specific veteran’s grave, that can be noted on the order form. Forms are available at the Swaney Library in New Cumberland or by calling George Hines at 304-670-7092.