This content was originally published by the Longmont Observer and is licensed under a Creative Commons license.
Written by Wreaths Across America
For the first time this year, the national non-profit organization Wreaths Across America will be holding a wreath-laying ceremony in Longmont. The event will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 14 at Mountain View Cemetery.
Feeling that it’s not enough to honor Veterans twice a year on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, Wreaths Across America was founded in 2007 to lay live holiday wreaths on the graves of our departed Veterans. In 2012, the organization placed its millionth wreath at Arlington National Cemetery. In 2014, for the first time, every headstone at Arlington got a wreath.
This holiday tradition began in 1992 when businessman Morrill Worchester of Worchester Wreath Company decided to donate 5,000 wreaths to the veterans at Arlington. The seed for the idea was planted much earlier when Worchester was a 12-year-old paperboy for the Bangor Daily News. Young Morrill won a trip to Washington D.C. His first trip to our nation’s capital was one he would never forget, and Arlington National Cemetery made an especially strong impression on him. This experience followed him throughout his life and successful career, reminding him that his good fortune was due, in large part, to the values of this nation and the veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
This year there will be a wreath-laying ceremony in each of the 50 States as well as Arlington National Cemetery in Washington DC and memorable sites abroad such as the Normandy-American Cemetery in France.
One of the major fundraising groups for Mountain View Cemetery is Longmont’s American Legion Post 32. All the work of transporting and distributing the live wreaths and placing them on the graves of veterans is done by volunteers. Last year, 1/3 of the volunteers were children.
Not many Longmont Residents know that over 1,500 US Veterans have their final resting place at Mountain View Cemetery. The oldest is a Civil War veteran, Captain John Harvey Fisher. Captain Fisher was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor in the Battle of Vicksburg, which took place on May 22, 1863.
What You Can Do
The Longmont operation will be carried out by volunteers and funded solely by donations. So far, enough money has been raised for 335 wreaths, but there’s more work to be done if each of the 1,500 Veterans in Mountain View is to receive a wreath. The cost of a wreath is $15. You can also volunteer to unload trucks, place wreaths, and serve refreshments. In-kind donations of food and other necessities are welcome, too.
December 2 is the last day a money donation can be received in order to purchase a wreath this year.
The location coordinator for Wreaths Across America at Mountain View is Delaney Dreckman. If you'd like to be involved with the ceremony, start a fundraising group, or give a general donation, please contact her at email@example.com or 760-458-2603. If you are interested in donating, consider donating through American Legion Post 32. They are raising money through Wreaths Across America's "$5 for $15 Program" so for every $15 donated by American Legion, they receive $5 back. For more information on donating through American Legion, please contact Ann Warhola or Jen at the Legion. You can reach them at 303-776-8951.
To donate by check, make the check out to Wreaths Across America and write the site code COMVCL on the check. Any amount is accepted. The code is important to make sure the money funds the Longmont ceremony. You can drop off donations at the Legion Post at 315 S Bowen St, Longmont, CO 80501, or mail them in. Put attn: Wreaths Across America on the envelope and be sure to include the site code COMVCL on your check. You can also donate online at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/COMVCL.
Learn more about Longmont’s Wreaths Across America project on Facebook: www.facebook.com/WAAMountainView.