Area cemetery selected as wreaths site

PENDLETON — National nonprofit Wreaths Across America announced recently the Lapel High School Band and Guard in Lapel has once again joined in the effort to support the mission to “Remember, Honor, Teach,” as an official location for 2017. This is the third year that the cemetery will participate in this national event.

Every December, thousands of wreaths are escorted from Columbia Falls, Maine to Arlington National Cemetery for National Wreaths Across America Day. The escort, made up of tractor trailers, public safety officials, local media and WAA supporters, makes dozens of stops along the way at community events, support rallies and school assemblies.

During the 2016 escort, a group of enthusiastic school children met the traveling wreaths with a meaningful song.

“As part of their performance, the children sang ‘I’m an American … YES, I am!’ and every single person standing in that auditorium couldn’t help but sing along, cheering and watching in awe as these children beamed with pride,” said WAA Executive Director Karen Worcester. “That is what being an American is all about.” It is with this in mind that this year’s theme for National Wreaths Across America Day — Dec. 16 — is “I’m an American. Yes, I am!”

The goal for the Lapel High School Band and Guard is to raise enough funds to place 550 remembrance wreaths on the headstones of all the local heroes laid to rest there, to ensure that the individuals who served to protect the freedoms of our country never be forgotten and to bring the community together in patriotic commemoration.

“We are forever grateful for the thousands of supporters who dedicate their time and effort to fulfilling our mission on a local level,” Worcester said. “They know the value of remembering the fallen, honoring those who currently serve and teaching the next generation about the sacrifices made for our freedom every day, and without their continued support, Wreaths Across America would not exist.”