MORGANTOWN— Each year, in celebrations around the nation, volunteers come together to pay respects to the men and women who fought and died for the freedom’s Americans have today, through the annual Wreaths Across America event.
During the event, live wreaths are placed on the graves of American soldiers, as a way to thank them for their service.
During the program, members from various branches of military place wreaths honoring and remembering their fallen brothers and sisters. After placing the ceremonial wreath, service members salute the memory of their comrades.
After the ceremony, volunteers and groups take time to place wreaths on the graves of the fallen. As wreaths are placed, the veteran’s name is read aloud, and they are personally thanked for their service.
It is the mission of Wreaths Across America at West Virginia National Cemetery Director Clifton VanGilder to make sure that every headstone is covered with a wreath.
“There are about 6,000 veterans laid to rest in the West Virginia National Cemetery, and we would love to see every one of them receive a wreath,” he said. “Unfortunately, this Coronavirus pandemic has really hurt our fundraising efforts this year, so we are reaching out to the public for help.”
To help bring awareness about the program and help kickstart some fundraising, the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit will be making a stop at Clinton District Fire Hall, at 1989 Grafton Rd in Morgantown, WV, on Sunday, July 26, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
“We will be practicing social distancing and asking that you wear a mask while visiting the exhibit,” VanGilder noted. “We will see 25 visitors at a time in the exhibit.”
During the day, they will be offering free tours to the public, working to educated about the program and will also be selling raffle tickets for various items.
“We will have eight different guns, a Yeti cooler and set of binoculars that we are raffling,” VanGilder shared. “We would love for you to stop by and learn more about this awesome program!”
For more information on Wreaths Across America, including their mission and ways to help volunteer or sponsor a wreath for the WV National Cemetery, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.