Melcher-Sowers offering veterans’ wreaths

MIAMI COUNTY — Saturday, Dec. 14 is Wreaths Across America Day.

Wreaths Across America Day began as The Arlington Wreath project started by Morrill Worcester in 1992 with the donation and laying of 5,000 Christmas wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. It was relatively obscure until 2005 when a photo of the stones adorned with wreaths and covered in snow circulated around the internet. The project received national attention. In 2006, more than 150 state and national cemeteries held wreath laying ceremonies simultaneously. By 2008, more than 300 locations held wreath laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. More than 100,000 wreaths were placed on veteran’s graves. More than 60,000 volunteers participated.

This year, the goal is to adorn every veteran’s grave in all veterans’ sections in Forest Hill Cemetery, Piqua. This is made possible through the efforts of Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua and Melcher-Sowers Funeral Home, Piqua, in conjunction with the Piqua American Legion Post No. 184, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Piqua Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 4874, the VFW Auxiliary, The Piqua Braves Baseball Association, The Blue Jays Youth Group of Bethel United Methodist Church, Piqua Kiwanis Key Club, Boy Scout Troop No. 295 and Girl Scout Troop 30006, as well as other members of the community will assist with the laying of the wreaths.

The ceremony will begin at noon at Veterans Memorial, with prayer and the blessing of the wreaths led by Pastors Jason Perkins and Mark Rudasill. The Veterans Elite Tribute Squad will be giving a salute with a Volley of 3 and place a wreath on each branch of the service at the monument.

WAA reaches out to thousands of children each year with the message of “Remember, Honor and Teach.” The importance of honoring each fallen serviceman/woman as an individual is stressed. This year the wreath laying will be on the third Saturday of December and was unanimously voted by the US Congress as “Wreaths Across America Day.” By offering sponsorships to the public, Wreaths Across America hopes that one day every veteran’s resting place will be adorned with a wreath for the holiday season.

You may honor your hero, and any other veterans by sponsoring a $15 wreath to adorn their grave. Stop in and order a wreath for your hero at Forest Hill Cemetery. 8660 State Route 66, Piqua, or at Melcher-Sowers Funeral Home, 646 W. High St., Piqua, from Nov. 11 through Dec. 2, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday. Wreaths will be available for pickup by Saturday Dec. 14, at Forest Hill Cemetery.

For more information, call Melcher-Sowers at (937) 773-1647 or Forest Hill Cemetery at (937) 773-2614.