On Saturday morning at 11:00 a.m., volunteers will place nearly 800 wreaths on veterans’ graves in Riverside Cemetery (left) and St. Joseph Cemetery (right) in Maumee. MIRROR PHOTOS BY MIKE McCARTHY
BY MIKE McCARTHY | MIRROR EDITOR — The gravesites of over 800 local veterans buried in Riverside and St. Joseph cemeteries will be decorated with wreaths on Saturday morning as part of a national commitment to honor veterans during the Christmas season.
The Maumee Honoring Military Veterans group is coordinating an effort in conjunction with Maumee American Legion Post 320, the city of Maumee and St. Joseph Catholic Church to place the wreaths on the veterans’ gravesites in the two local cemeteries following an 11:00 a.m. memorial ceremony at the Maumee Rotary Pavilion, located at 1025 River Rd. on the river side of Side Cut Metropark. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend the event.
Dennis Addis, a parishioner at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Maumee, is coordinating the event through the Maumee Honoring Military Veterans program, which is sanctioned by the national Wreaths Across America program.
“The mission of the organization is to remember the fallen, honor those who served and to teach the next generation the value of freedom and liberty,” he commented.
The 11:00 a.m. ceremony will feature remarks from Addis as well as Maumee Mayor Richard Carr and Fr. Eric Schild, pastor of St. Joseph Catholic Church. An active-duty U.S. Air Force officer has also been invited to attend the ceremony and deliver remarks. Maumee American Legion Post 320 will provide a color guard and a bugler to honor the veterans.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees will make their way to Riverside and St. Joseph cemeteries to place wreaths on veterans’ gravesites.
The tradition of placing holiday wreaths on the gravesites of veterans began modestly in 2007, when Maine wreathmaker Morrill Worcester found himself with a surplus of 5,000 wreaths during the holiday season. With the help of former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, he arranged for the placement of the wreaths on thousands of gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery. Since then, the annual tribute has grown to more than 1.7 million veterans’ gravesites throughout the United States and abroad.
Due to the generosity of many local individuals, businesses and organizations, the funding to purchase the wreaths for this season’s project has already been met. All the money raised from this point forward will be earmarked for future events, according to Addis.
For those who would like to volunteer for the event or make a financial donation by credit card for next year’s event, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/OH0283.
To donate by check, please make the check payable to Wreaths Across America. In the memo line, please include Group ID OH0283 and Location ID OHSTJO.
Please mail or drop off your sponsorship checks to American Legion Post 320 at 204 Illinois Ave., Maumee, OH 43537.