Program to honor veterans' grave sites on Saturday

Program to honor veterans' grave sites on Saturday

Wreaths Across America is a ceremony to raise awareness and support efforts to cover each veterans' headstone at the local cemetery, which is located on Upper River Road just west of Grants Pass. The event started in 1992 at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington, D.C., and now has sites in every state.

The public is welcome to attend. Remembering his boyhood experience at Arlington, Worcester realized he had an opportunity to honor our country's veterans. Members of the Armed Forces will place remembrance wreaths for each branch of the military, as well as one for POW/MIAs and KIAs.

The program begins at 9 a.m.in the chapel at the cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans' graves. National Wreaths Across America Day is a free community event open to all people.

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The wreath-laying is still held annually, on the second or third Saturday of December.

Their mission is Remember, Honor, Teach.

While the entire county was covered in 2014 and 2015, with over 5,000 graves at 28 cemeteries, it cost around $50,000, with much of that coming out of the veterans service office's budget.

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The objective is not to decorate the graves, but to remember the lives of each individual veteran, asking participating volunteers to read the name aloud and thank them for their service each time they place a wreath, according to Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.

Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization that teaches about the service and sacrifice of our nation's veterans.

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