Wreaths Across America honors thousands of veterans at Agawam cemetery

Aaron Brown
December 17, 2017

"We are not here to "decorate graves", Executive Director of Wreaths Across America Karen Worcester wrote on the event's website.

Keith Harris, who organizes the effort in La Porte County, said the local program has grown from about 75 wreaths two years ago to 477 this year.

On Saturday In Beckley, families who lost loved ones in combat gathered to lay a wreath on 246 tombstones at the American Legion Cemetery. "We remember those who donned the uniform of our country, their service, sacrifice and achievements are commendable and heroic, and each day we enjoy freedoms that were made possible by their actions".

Maroney ordered nearly 500 wreaths.

A small army of volunteers, including children and their parents, spread out across the cemetery to place wreaths at markers of veterans.

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Local residents, veterans groups, Boy Scout troops and others braved frigid temperatures to partake in what Willette, a Military Order of the Purple Heart member, described as "a real big community event". "We're here to remember not their deaths, but their lives". "It's kinda hard to put into words".

"Thanks to the generosity of the people in the Flathead Valley, and their donations as we stood out in front of super markets all summer, we were able to purchase a thousand wreaths to place on Veterans graves".

For the second year, the Alton Wreaths Across America Committee provided headstone wreaths at no charge to the families of area veterans.

"What was important to me is the kids being involved".

"We didn't think we'd make it, but we did: 2,076, so every veteran will get a wreath", Osinski said.

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