Remember, honor, and teach: That’s the mission for National Wreaths Across America Day which happens this year on December 12, 2015.
Each and every stone at Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin has a unique story. Some will go untold, but for Robert Irving, his daughter will tell it the best way she knows how. “He’s a World War II veteran and we moved him here from Florida. We no longer live in Florida so we thought it was nice to bring him home,” explained Judy Foster.
Foster explains why she lays a wreath on her father’s grave every year on National Wreaths Across America Day. “These people sacrificed their lives for us and this is our way of saying thank you.”
Zelda Italiano also holds a piece of this cemetery close to her heart. After forty-eight years of marriage, her husband was buried here four years ago. “When I feel lonely or tired or depressed, I just get in my car and come over here,” said Italiano.
But on Saturday December 12, 2015 she will join thousands of people across the nation in placing a wreath on a veteran’s grave.
At this cemetery alone, over 600 wreaths will be laid. The grounds manager Doug Lane explains why it’s such an honor to be present at the ceremony. “Being able to serve a small portion back to these great men and women who have served and given their lives feels good.”
Just last year, over 700,000 wreaths were placed on veteran’s graves at 1,000 locations across America and beyond.
Even if you don’t have a loved one who served, a fallen soldier could still use your help. “Unfortunately, a lot of the veterans that are buried, especially here in the in ground cremation areas, have no family to come lay a wreath on their grave,” explained Foster.
Whether it’s a husband, a father, a friend, or a complete stranger, laying a wreath for a veteran is a way to make sure no one stands alone.
For more information on this national celebration, click here.
To sponsor a wreath for a veteran, click here.
To find a wreath laying ceremony in your Virginia hometown, click here.