POINT PLEASANT — Mason County recently particpated in a “Wreaths Across America Ceremony” held at the Medal of Honor Park.
The Mistress of Ceremony was Joanna Alvarez, Colonel Charles Lewis National Society Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter Regent. Color Guard was members of the Point Pleasant Chapter National Society Sons of the American Revolution.
The National Anthem was sung by Brooke Cromley Price. Cora Teal, vice regent led the Pledge to the American flag.
Laying wreaths were the following: Air Force – Mack Bauer; Army - Robert Johnson; Navy –Ferris Burton; Marines – Joseph Antal; Coast Guard – Richard Mainville; POW/MIA – Miles Epling; Merchant Marines – Greg “Bosco” Wamsley.
A total of 65 wreaths were laid on the graves of veterans at the Pioneer, Lone Oak and Suncrest Cemeteries by DAR members and Boy Scouts from Troop #259.
According to Wreaths Across America, the organizations’s 20-year tradition finds its roots with the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine. The company was founded by former Bangor Daily News paperboy Morrill Worcester. Worcestor was inspired by a trip to Arlington National Cemetery.
Almost at the end of the holiday season of 1992, the company discovered it had an excess of wreaths. Maine senator Olympia Snowe and the Maine State Society of DC, made arrangements for the wreaths to be laid at Arlington. In 2006 thousands of e-mails and letters arrived with requests for Worcester Wreath to expand its wreath donations nationwide. Ceremonies were held at 230 locations, aided by the Civil Air Patrol.
The company reached out for help from the community and became the nonprofit Wreaths Across America. It looks back at 20 years and 670,000 wreaths and has been joined by other groups and individuals who want to participate in the organization.
The company’s pledge to Arlington is now 10,000 wreaths each year, also sending 2,500 to the Maine Veterans’ Cemetery and sending quantities of wreaths for use on veterans’ graves in local communities.