Wreath ceremony Saturday
THE ANNUAL Wreaths Across America Day will be held Saturday, Dec. 15. Locally, the ceremony starts at 8:45 a.m. at the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, members of the community are invited to gather together to honor veterans during the holiday season as part of the annual Wreaths Across America Day. The event begins at 8:45 a.m. at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park, and will be held rain or shine.
Organizers said this year they have received donations to buy almost 100 extra wreaths that will be placed on veterans’ graves in Mountain Cemetery.
“We’re also going to honor Jim Parks,” said David Reber, with the Civil Air Patrol Squadron 157 from Sonoma County Airport.
Parks was a longtime veterans’ advocate who pushed for the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park to be built and funded the Star of Honor. He died back in June at the age of 93.
Begun in 1992 at Arlington National Cemetery with the donation of 5,000 wreaths by Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, Wreaths Across America went nationwide in 2005 after a photograph of the green wreaths resting on gray headstones in a field of snow at Arlington was published on the web, causing an avalanche of inquiries and offers of help. Wreaths Across America will take place at over 600 veterans cemeteries in all 50 states, plus 24 American military cemeteries on foreign soil. This year, Worcester will donate 15,000 wreaths for Arlington, plus seven ceremonial wreaths for each participating location (honoring the five branches of the U.S. armed services, the Merchant Marine and POW/MIA). Sponsorships are sought for wreaths for graves of veterans at participating locations; this year, it is projected 500,000 such wreaths will be placed, with the eventual goal of obtaining wreaths for all 2 million graves in veterans cemeteries across the United States.
The Wreaths Across America ceremony at Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park is coordinated by Civil Air Patrol Squadron 157 from Sonoma County Airport, VFW Post 1943 and American Legion Post 489 of Sonoma. More information on the event can be found at wreathsacrossamerica.org.