Students to participate in Wreaths Across America

BROADALBIN — To honor veterans and fallen soldiers during the holidays, Broadalbin-Perth High School students are participating in Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery’s Wreaths Across America ceremony.

The National Wreaths Across America Day is Dec. 16. The ceremony is held simultaneously across the country at more than 1,200 locations. The Saratoga National Cemetery is one of those locations.

The goal is to lay wreaths on each of the veterans’ gravestones. There are 10,000 graves at Saratoga National Cemetery and so far, the cemetery has collected about 2,000 wreaths.

According to a news release, Wreaths Across America is nonprofit organization to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony that was started by Maine businessman Morill Worcester at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992. The organization’s mission is to “Remember, Honor, Teach,” which is carried out each year at wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 1,200 veterans’ gravestones.

“Every donation and wreath sponsorship is a meaningful gift from an appreciative supporter who knows what it meant to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy, said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America. “We are so grateful to the community of Broadalbin for participating in our mission to remember, honor and teach.”

Group coordinator for the high school, Chereith Vincent said students within the high school have been helping to ensure that gravestones at the Gerald B.H. Solomon National Cemetery will have wreaths by participating in the “buy 2 get 1” special.

For every two wreaths purchased, the organization – Wreaths Across America — will donate one free wreath. The cost for each wreath is $15 and two wreaths are $30.

The students have been selling the wreaths for about two weeks and the last day to buy is today at midnight. Purchasers of the wreaths will not receive the wreaths themselves. The money spent towards the wreaths ensures that the number of wreaths they bought will go toward the many veterans’ gravestones.

Vincent said some of the students have also volunteered to go to the cemetery to help lay down the wreaths. She said when she sent home the sign-up sheet and permission slips with the students, that some of the parents were interested in going as well. There will be a bus leaving the Broadalbin-Perth High School on Dec. 16 at 10:30 a.m. to the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery and will be returning to the high school around 4 p.m.

“I am beyond words thankful for the support we have received with the regard to this event,” Vincent said.

Vincent said the total number of wreaths so far is 63.

“Honestly, there were no expectations into this year’s event,” Vincent said. “All I hoped for was to get enough kids to go with me to the event this year to represent Broadalbin-Perth and our awesome high school student body.”

This is the first year the school is participating in the Wreaths Across America.

Vincent said she and Charla Simonson, the second coordinator of the event, have already been brainstorming for next year.

“We are excited about the opportunities ahead of us,” Vincent said.

By Patricia Older

Leave a Reply