THURMAN — Communities throughout the United States will be participating in wreath laying ceremonies, Saturday, Dec. 18, on what has been designated National Wreath Across America Day.
The wreaths will mark the graves of veterans from all branches of service beginning with the American Revolution, and are funded and placed by volunteers. The event takes place annually on the third Saturday in December, and has grown from its beginnings in Arlington National Cemetery to include over 1200 cemeteries across the country.
There are many local groups participating in the project, including one organized by Patricia Filie for Tyn Rhos Cemetery in Rio Grande, Ohio. Many of these events were canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, but volunteers, including Filie, managed to continue the tradition in the historic cemetery.
Filie said services were held at the First Church of the Southern Ohio Welsh Pioneers adjacent to Tyn Rhos Cemetery using pandemic protocols, including leaving the church door open on a very cold and rainy day. She was pleased that although the group was smaller than usual, they still managed to place 66 wreaths.
Saturday’s service will mark the fifth year the group has been placing wreaths at the Cemetery, and Filie said 67 veterans will be honored.
The program will begin at noon, with guest speakers Bill Magnus, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4464, and Cindy Parsons from Wounded Warriors Project. Music will be provided by Jenny Henchy. Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Cadot Blessing Camp 126, will begin the laying of wreaths, along with veteran’s families, and volunteers.
“Everyone is welcome to attend the service and wreath laying,” Filie said. “And we encourage others to take on the project for other cemeteries by contacting Wreaths Across America.”
Filie said the financial goal to cover the cost of the 2021 wreaths for Tyn Rhos Cemetery has been met, and those wishing to contribute for 2022 can mail their donation to Patricia Filie, c/o PO Box 123, Rio Grande, Ohio, 45674.
Lorna Hart is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.