Wreathes Across America

phoggie

Do you or have you ever participated the laying of wreaths in our military cemeteries? What an awesome sight seeing them! I had planned to participant in this at a military cemetery about 140 miles from my home, but weather is not cooperating.

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salonva

I don't participate (will check it out and see if there is anything near me?) but I did see someone I know who posted photos of her participation. Her husband is in Arlington but she participated where she lives in South Carolina.

A very touching tribute Thank you for sharing and prompting.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I volunteered very frequently when I lived in Beaufort, SC. We had a beautiful National Cemetery, dedicated by Lincoln in the early 1860s. I had permission to use the grounds every year for some of my plant ID classes; the variety of very old trees and shrubs was remarkable.

So I gladly joined the forces in laying wreaths or placing flags at the headstones of every grave.


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phoggie

Rhizo, what an honorable task! Thank you for taking part in doing this.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

phoggie, it was certainly meaningful for me. This cemetery is small enough that it seemed familiar as I grew to know it and its 'residents' better and better. It was beautifully cared for with a great deal of help from the community and a very venerated historical property.

Older traditional cemeteries, by the way, have long been known as great repositories of favored plants of any given era; many are considered national gardens and arboretums. Long lived specimens can survive many generations. My husband and I have been given permission by the directors of several old cemeteries to collect cuttings and seeds from the properties.




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Martha Scott

On Memorial Day weekend I always help put flags at the headstones of the graves in our National cemetery.

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phoggie

Trucks full of wreaths going out to deliver to 2,200 different military cemeteries !

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Elmer J Fudd

A nice gesture.

According to wikipedia, there are 147 national cemetaries in the US, not 2200. The VA runs all but about 15.

Why is it that so many trucks were in the same place and leaving at the same time?

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sheilajoyce_gw

I remember reading about a fresh greens wreath manufacturing plant that has been family owned for years and years. They donate wreaths for military cemeteries everywhere every year. I wish I could remember the name of the wreath factory. Those trucks make me think that perhaps they are coming from that factory.

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phoggie

Sheila....you are so right!

Elmer...again you are wrong! We have two military cemeteries within 140 miles from my house! I never said “national “ cemeteries...I said military!!!...and they both received these donated wreaths!

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Elmer J Fudd

phoggie, I think we're both guilty of the same thing - assuming that all areas are like our own.

I see that Kansas has state military cemeteries. My state doesn't. The city I come from has a larger population than the entire state of Kansas and it has one military cemetery, a national one.

The national cemetery organization exists because that's what may be thought as the final fringe benefit of active duty military service - a burial plot. That's why it's a federal system to provide the benefit chosen by veterans who want it.

I'm quite skeptical that there are 2200 military cemeteries in the US but I'd love to see a source that says so.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'm unfamiliar with what a "military cemetery" might be if not a National Cemetery. Are you talking about State Military cemeteries, which are VA funded? If so, I found an interesting website regarding those properties. They are typically referred to as state Veterans Cemeteries.

State Cemetery Listings There are many, but not even close to 2200.

Or are you talking about community cemeteries with military sections or just individual burials? My father, for example, is buried in one of the community cemeteries in my hometown. His grave is always decorated by a wreath at Xmas and a flag on Memorial Day.

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Martha Scott

I am assuming that that is a convoy leaving the wreath factory. The wreath factory DOES NOT donate the wreaths. The donations are by citizens in the community where the cemeteries are. The cost is $10 per wreath (which I assume is wholesale but even at wholesale the wreath company is making money) and our cemetery alone costs $60,000 for a wreath for all 6000 graves.

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phoggie

Martha, I was only repeating what I read in the article. I had even forgotten about Ft Scott, only thinking about Ft Leavenworth and Ft Riley...so make that three in our area. However many there are, it is awesome and glad you participate in remembering our military! Thank you!

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Elmer J Fudd

Thanks, rhizo, there are a few in California I'd not heard of. They're quite small. I agree, the listing of state cemeteries looks to be about 150 more, to add to the federal list to make maybe 300 or so in total

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sheilajoyce_gw

No, the article I read or clip on TV used the word "donated."

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phoggie

Sheila...thank you for reiterating this information! If there is a charge, maybe it would be for shipping and handling....whatever...it is a wonderful gesture!

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Martha Scott

Shellajoyce -- they are "donated" by groups doing fundraisers and getting donations from people in the community but they ARE NOT donated by the wreath company. If they were, why would our group need to raise $60,000? It's true that none of the cemeteries pay for the wreaths so they are all donated to the cemeteries -- but not by the company selling the wreaths.

I think originally, the wreath company had some that didn't sell and took them down to Arlington (not enough for every grave but a bunch) and donated those, made sure with social media that pictures of the graves and wreaths were taken and they went viral and the event grew from there. You may have read an early article about that first year (or years -- not sure how many years they did it before it became an "event"). However, during those early years not all 400,000 graves received a wreath -- only a few of them.


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