GOSHEN – Orange County’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery will hold a Wreaths Across America ceremony at noon on December 18. The event will be held rain or shine.
“The feedback we have received from hosting Wreaths Across America ceremonies in the past has been tremendous and we look forward to this year’s in-person event,” County Executive Steven Neuhaus said. “It is a truly wonderful way to bring our community together during the holiday season and pay tribute to those who served our country. It also highlights our county’s beautifully maintained Veterans Cemetery.”
During the ceremony, the county will also display its “Tree of Heroes” which will be adorned with pictures of veterans and their loved ones, along with notes written to them from children throughout the county.
The 19-acre Veterans Memorial Cemetery has 13,400 plots and has 3,600 veterans and their spouses currently interred there.
Wreaths, which are $15 each or three for $30, can be purchased at the Veterans Service Agency at 111 Craigville Road in Goshen or online through the WAA website (wreathsacrossamerica.org) using search code NYOCVM.
Sponsor donations in any amount are also welcome. Checks can be made out to Nam Knights M/C with WAA 2021 on the memo line and can be mailed to the VSA’s Goshen address.
The tradition of laying wreaths to honor veterans began in 1992, when Morrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, had extra wreaths at the end of the holiday season. Worcester remembered a boyhood trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. and decided to donate 5,000 wreaths to be placed on the headstones of an older section of the cemetery. By 2014, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid over 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge, and the sites of the September 11 tragedies.
WAA ceremonies are celebrated at the same exact time at more than 2,500 cemeteries in the U.S. and abroad, with nearly two million wreaths placed to honor our veterans.
“The Wreaths Across America ceremony allows us to honor those who have sacrificed their lives for this great country in a special way,” said Christian Farrell, the county’s Veterans Service Agency director. “We are proud to once again take part in this meaningful event with our partners in the veteran community. The county’s goal is to put a wreath on every grave in the cemetery and, with the support and volunteerism of the community, that goal is well within reach.”
For more information about the county’s Wreaths Across America ceremony, contact Dave Andryshak at 845-494-3768.