Community embraces wreath-laying ceremony at local veterans cemetery

Area cemetery to be part of Wreaths Across America

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During the program, seven wreaths are displayed on stage, one for each branch of the military and one to honor a man from Orwigsburg who lost his life while serving in the Army.

The event begins at 10 a.m. with a short ceremony before wreaths are placed on the more than 5,000 graves in the cemetery, said Donna Betson, local organizer for Wreaths Across America.

On Saturday, Arlington National Cemetery Tours will support Wreaths Across America by helping to place ribboned wreaths at the foot of every headstone in the cemetery. Julia Swoboda and her family have been dedicated to that remembrance for the past two years, as they brought Wreaths Across America to North East.

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Wreaths Across America was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in ME, when he realized he had a surplus of merchandise nearing the end of the holiday season. Ceremonies will also be conducted at more than 1,200 locations throughout the United States on Saturday. This year, the event takes place December 16 at 11 a.m. "Pursuit of that interest led us to spend time exploring the cemetery, and we realized how many USA veterans have service-marked gravesites there representing all wars from the Civil War to Iraq and Afghanistan".

This is carried out through wreath laying ceremonies at all national cemeteries in all 50 states and beyond.

The Wreaths Across America program was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, owner of The Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine.

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Throughout the year, families visit the graves of veteran family members to place flowers and pay their respects.

Individuals have ordered wreaths to place in towns like Cushing and Perkins even if ceremonies aren't scheduled for those locations.

Although the number of cemeteries participating in Ottawa County has been reduced, the committee plans to cover every military veteran gravesite in the entire county over a four-year period, from 2016 to 2019.

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