Wreaths Across America

Remember, Honor, Teach                                                        

CAPITAL DISTRICT –  Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 12:00 Noon. Sun, snow or rain the Wreaths Across America (WAA) Ceremony, will be held for the 12th year at the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery. This ceremony honors our country’s fallen heroes by the laying of remembrance wreaths sponsored by relatives, friends, fellow Americans and businesses locally and across our great country. 

There is still plenty of time to honor a veteran by sponsoring a wreath or two or three! Or by creating a fundraising group for your special project. Grab your colleagues, co-workers, post this information to your Facebook, and help us spread the word so every hero resting at the G.B.H.S. Saratoga National Cemetery can be honored. 

To sponsor a wreath, log onto http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org . Choose ‘donate’, then ‘sponsor at a wreath at my local cemetery’. At search command type ‘Saratoga’ and select ‘view’, scroll down to ‘donate through a group’ to listed fundraiser you wish to support. (WAA donates $5 from every wreath to local fundraiser chosen) Wreaths are just $15. Deadline for sponsoring is Monday, November 27th. Volunteers are also needed to help place wreaths on December 16; directions for volunteering and ceremony details can be found at the same web location.  

In 2015, there were 2900 sponsored wreaths, last year that number increased to 7028 wreaths, this year with projected interments to be 10,900 veterans at the Saratoga National Cemetery by December our hope is to make this the first year we are able to honor all gravesites. When you log onto the web location there is a running tally of sponsored wreaths so you can watch our progress!  

Cadets and Senior Members of Mid-Eastern Group Civil Air Patrol (CAP) along with Local Patriot Guard Riders (PGR) will be presenting the ceremony. The Saratoga National Cemetery Honor Guard Association will present the colors; conduct the Rifle Salute, and provide the Bugle for Taps. 

Simultaneously, Wreaths Across America national events honoring veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and at the participating locations nationwide are held at 12 noon, EST December 16, 2017. The events begin with a weeklong annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine. In 2016, 1.2 million donated Christmas wreaths from the State of Maine journeyed to 1228 National Veterans’ cemeteries and memorial sites across the Country as part of the annual Wreaths Across America project. In addition, at State Houses including the Albany Capitol, a 3-foot memorial wreath with all the service flags is placed on Monday, Dec 11, before the ceremony at the cemetery. The theme for 2017: I’m an American, Yes, I am. 

In 1992, when Wreaths Across America (WAA) founder, Morrill Worcester, wanted to send a surplus of 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery, CAP answered the call. With assistance and guidance from Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, the local squadron in Machias, Maine, helped Morrill fulfill his grand wish by escorting trucks filled with wreaths to Arlington. A group of cadets also spent over four hours laying the wreaths at the cemetery and helped to start what is now known as National Wreaths Across America Day each December. Worcester Wreath Company continues to be a major supporter of the project. Last year 110,000 wreaths were laid at Arlington National Cemetery. Wreaths will have been sponsored by individuals, businesses, and groups from communities nation-wide. Wreaths will be placed in all 50 states from Maine to Alaska and Hawaii, at several locations in Iraq, and at 24 national cemeteries on foreign soil. Twenty-five years later, 58,000 CAP members and volunteers run over half of WAA’s 1000 ceremony locations. The laying of wreaths at the local Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery began in 2006. 

Local info: Lt Col Anita Martin, CAP, amartin31392cap@nulljuno.com, 518-225-0442, Major John Paneto,  Scott Lamb, Director G.B. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery 518-581-9128 

Wreath Removal: Jan 20, at 8:00 am, by Local Patriot Guard Riders. Volunteers needed. Please bring a broomstick to gather wreaths. For more information contact: billschaaf@nullaol.com

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