PIQUA —While walking through Forest Hill Cemetery last year, Benjamin Zimmerman, a partner at Jamieson & Yannucci Funeral Home, could not help but notice that the veterans’ sections dating back to World War I veterans had little attention. He embarked on a mission to correct that, at least for 2017.
As a continuing designated partner and local representative with the Wreaths Across America organization, he believed that he could be the conduit between local support and the national movement.
Zimmerman was successful in securing funding to cover the complete costs associated with placing a wreath on each of the 375 graves within the three current veterans’ sections at Forest Hill Cemetery and enhancing the Veterans Memorial site adjacent to the cemetery.
Zimmerman noted the generosity of the G. William Hartzell Foundation, the Donnelly Donor Advised Fund — both through the Piqua Community Foundation, and both the Zimmerman and Yannucci families in allowing this to be possible for 2017. The date for this year has been established as Dec. 16, and with the help of local volunteers, those forgotten men and women will be honored.
“This effort began because some of the veteran graves, especially in the older veterans’ sections over the past several years have been forgotten, and we want to be sure that those who have no family left to adorn the grave are still honored for their service,” Zimmerman said.
The 2017 motto for Wreaths Across America, “I’m an American. Yes, I am,” seems so timely to those involved in solidarity with the ceremonious laying of the wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as over 1,200 additional locations in all 50 United States, at sea, and abroad.
Local residents can purchase individual wreaths for their own laying ceremony at the graves of their family members. Contact Zimmerman at 773-3161 to place an order for $10 each before Nov. 20, or visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org
“As we move swiftly toward the holiday season, it is important to remember those who have gone before us and fought to make our everyday freedoms possible,” Zimmerman said, adding that the national mission for the wreath-laying effort is, “Remember, honor and teach.”