WreathsAcrossAmerica

Veterans will be honored at the Cloverdale Cemetery for the eighth year in a row.

The Sons of the American Legion in partnership with American Legion Post 293 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9268 will be putting on a Wreaths Across America ceremony to honor veterans who have died.

The ceremony seeks to honor deceased veterans by placing holiday wreaths on their headstones, following a series of short speeches about the Wreaths Across America program. Last year, Cloverdale was one of two cities in the county participating.

The Wreaths Across America program began in 1992 when 5,000 wreaths were donated to Arlington National Cemetery to be placed on the graves of veterans. What started out as a single-cemetery ceremony has expanded to be nationwide.

Every year there have been around 1 million wreaths simultaneously put out during the ceremony in over 1,200 locations, as every ceremony across the nation is held at the same day and time.

This year’s Wreaths Across America ceremony will be held next Saturday, Dec. 14 at 9 a.m.

The wreaths will be escorted from the Veterans Memorial Building to the Cloverdale Cemetery. From there, “special wreaths for the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, POW/MIA and our local First Responders will be placed on the Veteran’s Memorial during the ceremony,” said Al Delsid, Sons of the American Legion member, in a statement. “Other wreaths will be placed on veteran gravesites throughout the cemetery at the conclusion of the ceremony.”

Last year, heavy rain led to the event being moved indoors. Should that happen again, Delsid said that the ceremony will likely be moved to the Veterans Memorial Building.

The Wreaths Across America program operates under the mission, “Remember, Honor, Teach,” and as such, Delsid said that he wants to encourage people to bring their children and young adults with them “so they can learn this and keep those traditions alive by hands-on experience.”

“It’s about honoring our veterans as much as we can,” Delsid said. “It’s something I just feel we should be doing.”

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