- Wesson News
Wreaths celebrate vets
By Bob Garver
At the Wesson American Legion Hall last month, Alton Ricks talked about U.S. military veterans who sacrificed their lives before local volunteers laid wreaths on their graves at Wesson Cemetery as part of a national program recognizing more than two million deceased veterans in 2,100 cemeteries throughout the country. Wesson-based Socks for Heroes (SFH) coordinated the Wreaths Across America (WAA) event, which, along, with the others, is designed to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom -- "taking time out to recognize the people who made the ultimate sacrifice," says SFH’s Cathy Stroud.
Maine businessman Morrill Worcester started annual the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery in 1992 when his organization -- Worcester Wreath in Maine -- found itself with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. Remembering a moving boyhood experience at Arlington National Cemetery, Worcester seized on it as an opportunity to honor the country’s veterans. The first event implemented with help many government officials, businesses and volunteers became an annual tradition that continued quietly each year until 2005, when a photo of gravestones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. The event drew national attention and expanded to thousands of other locations where the Arlington ceremonies were emulated.