POINT PLEASANT — Hundreds of veterans will be honored during a Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Medal of Honor Park on Saturday. Dec. 18 at noon.
Hundreds of wreaths will be laid on the graves of soldiers across Mason County as well.
“It’s a way for us to honor Mason County veterans,” said Diana Johnson, organizer. “Just by the number of wreaths we’re putting out and how many more we need, Mason County really has stepped up throughout our history, to serve our country and this is a way to honor those veterans.”
Johnson said 315 live balsam wreaths will be placed between Suncrest, Lone Oak, Pioneer and Kirkland Memorial cemeteries.
The ceremony starts at the Medal of Honor Park in Point Pleasant. During the ceremony wreaths will be placed at the park in honor of each branch of the military.
Following the ceremony, Johnson and other volunteers will place wreaths on veteran’s headstones after reading the veteran’s name.
“We ask that when they place the wreath, they read the veteran’s name and remember them,” Johnson said. “Because the whole point of this is to remember and honor veterans.”
Johnson said they have been doing the wreath ceremony since 2012 and it grows each year.
“We started out with Pioneer and Lone Oak and then we added Suncrest the following year. And we just added Kirkland, like two years ago,” Johnson said. “We’re shooting to get at least another 100 for there next year.”
Johnson said she hopes the project continues to grow.
“I feel bad that we can’t do every cemetery, every veteran,” Johnson said.
Johnson said there has been tremendous community support, including wreaths bought and sold by 4-H team leaders, the local Marine Corps League chapter and the American Legion.
Johnson said wreaths are $15 and for every two wreaths sold, the group receives one for free. She said there is a special that for every wreath sold between Saturday, Dec. 18 and Jan. 12, the group will receive a free wreath.
Johnson said they welcome any and all volunteers, she said those interested can just come to the Medal of Honor Park for the ceremony to help.
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Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.