Wreaths Across America ceremony is Dec. 17 at Andersonville National Cemetery

Published 2:45 pm Saturday, December 3, 2016

ANDERSONVILLE — Andersonville National Historic Site invites you to remember and honor our military veterans during the winter season by participating in our Wreaths Across America program at noon, Dec. 17.
Wreaths Across America is a national program that encourages individuals, community groups, and families to sponsor wreaths for placement in national cemeteries throughout the United States. These wreaths may be placed on specific graves, or left undesignated to place on one of thousands of unvisited graves. Wreaths may be purchased and sent to Andersonville National Cemetery by visiting www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. Wreaths may also be purchased from local florists or home improvement stores and placed at the cemetery throughout the month of December.
Each year, between 500 and 800 wreaths are donated for placement at Andersonville National Cemetery. The goal is to ensure that each of the more than 20,000 gravesites in the cemetery is decorated with a wreath at least once. To accomplish this, undesignated wreaths are placed sequentially and rotated from one cemetery section to the next each year. For 2016, undesignated wreaths will be placed in a portion of Section B, Section R, and the Memorial section.
At noon Dec. 17, the Civil Air Patrol will conduct a brief ceremony honoring America’s armed forces in the Andersonville National Cemetery. This ceremony is open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a wreath for placement after the service.
If you, your family, organization, or business is interested in sponsoring one or more wreaths, you can learn more about the program and sponsor wreaths online at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. Please remember to visit the Andersonville National Cemetery page to ensure your wreath arrives at the intended location.
Beginning Dec. 1, wreaths and floral blankets no larger than 2 feet by 3 feet are permitted in the cemetery. Wreaths should be brought in person, or delivered by a florist, directly to the gravesite. To find the location of a specific grave, visit http://gravelocator.cem.va.gov or stop at the National Prisoner of War Museum for assistance.
“Placing a wreath on the grave of one of our fallen military is a simple and beautiful way to honor their memory and sacrifice,” said Lisa McInnis, acting superintendent of Andersonville National Historic Site. “For those placing wreaths on the grave of a friend or family member, it may bring back cherished memories of holidays spent together. For those placing a wreath on other gravesites, the act of honoring a fallen soldier, one who may no longer be visited by anyone, can be a powerful experience.”