BY NANCY GAGNET | MIRROR REPORTER — Every December, a national effort takes place to honor fallen veterans through the solemn practice of placing wreaths at their gravesites.
This touching tribute, which takes place during the holiday season, not only acknowledges those who have served honorably, it is also a reminder of those who were dedicated to a cause much greater than oneself.
This year, a local effort is underway to join National Wreaths Across America, an organization that has helped coordinate wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery as well as at more than 1.7 million veterans’ gravesites at 2,500 locations in all 50 U.S. states and abroad.
The local initiative, titled Maumee Honoring Military Veterans, is working toward the purchase and placement of wreaths at the gravesites of veterans laying in rest at St. Joseph and Riverside cemeteries.
Dennis Addis, a parishioner of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Maumee, is spearheading the effort through a special partnership with Jay Shoemaker, chaplain of American Legion Post 320. The goal is to raise approximately $15,000 for the purchase of the 1,500 wreaths, which would be placed in the cemeteries on December 18.
Addis said that paying tribute to veterans, especially during the holiday season, is a fitting way to show gratitude for all they have sacrificed.
“It is important that we don’t forget them,” he said. “We wouldn’t be as free, and we wouldn’t have as many liberties today if it weren’t for them.”
Those interested in supporting the effort may submit a donation for the purchase or sponsorship of a wreath and/or volunteer to help place the wreaths during a ceremony on Saturday, December 18. More details regarding the ceremony will be announced closer to the date.
For questions, please contact Dennis Addis at (419) 351-0691.
To Sponsor A Wreath
Wreaths may be sponsored at a cost of $15.00 per wreath. For every two wreaths that are sponsored, Maumee Honoring Military Veterans will receive one free wreath from National Wreaths Across America.
Credit Card Donations
To donate using a major credit card, please visit http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/OH0283.
Please make check payable to: Wreaths Across America. Memo line must include: “Group ID OH0283/ Location ID OHSTJO.”
Mail checks to: American Legion Post 320, 204 Illinois Ave., Maumee, OH 43537.
It is necessary that your check include the group ID and location ID to ensure your sponsorship stays local.