BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — The gravesites of local veterans will once again be decorated with wreaths this holiday season thanks to the efforts of a local volunteer group associated with the national Wreaths Across America (WAA) organization.
Maumee Honoring Military Veterans, founded and led by Waterville resident Dennis Addis, will host a memorial ceremony on Saturday, December 17 to honor the over 850 veterans buried at Riverside Cemetery and St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Maumee.
This will mark the second year for the memorial ceremony, which was well-attended in its inaugural observance last December despite a cold drizzle.
The memorial ceremony will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Maumee Rotary Centennial Pavilion at Side Cut Metropark, located at 1025 River Rd. Speakers will include Maumee Mayor Richard Carr, St. Joseph Catholic Church pastor Fr. Eric Schild, Staff Sgt. Michael White of the 180th Fighter Wing of the Ohio National Guard, and Addis.
Members of Maumee American Legion Post 320 will provide an honor guard and will participate in other aspects of the ceremony.
Following the patriotic ceremony in the shelter, volunteers will disperse to Riverside and St. Joseph cemeteries to place wreaths on the gravesites of all veterans, which will be identified with a bright marker.
Members of the public are encouraged to attend the event and help place the wreaths. Residents who wish to honor the veterans, but are physically unable to help place the wreaths, are also encouraged to attend.
Those who wish to help financially by sponsoring a wreath with a credit card payment should visit https://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/167329/Overview/?relatedId=0 to make their donation.
Simply click on the “Sponsor Wreaths” button and follow the instructions. Those who prefer to make payments by check should make their check out to Wreaths Across America (Group OH0283) and mail it to Wreaths Across America c/o Dennis Addis, 10429 Bailey Rd., Waterville, OH 43566.
To volunteer to place a wreath, use the same link as above, but click on the volunteer tab and follow the instructions. It is not a requirement to register ahead of time in order to place wreaths. Simply show up on Saturday, December 17 to pay your respects, and you will be instructed on what you can do to help.