Continuing the tradition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Wreaths Across America places wreaths on all veterans’ graves in Woodland Cemetery

Saturday’s Wreaths Across America was very well attended, with between 150-200 people in attendance at Woodland Cemetery in Ironton to place Christmas wreaths by the gravestones of the veterans buried, in not only the soldiers circle, but also the section that contains the graves of Civil War veterans.

And for the second time in its 10-year history, the local organizers of Wreaths Across America were able to get enough wreaths for every grave.
Laura Brown, one of the coordinators of Lawrence County Wreaths Across America, said she was glad to see the turnout and that they were able to get a wreath for over 1,000 veterans graves.

“It is a nice thing,” she said, adding she and her sister, Sally Inglis, were happy to carry on coordinating the event that was started in Lawrence County in 2012 after local organizers Juanita Southers and Linda Dalton saw the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Arlington Cemetery. “We keep the tradition for them. We have a lot of people who help and this is really a community effort. People are so generous.”

When Tim Carpenter, the Lawrence County Veterans Services officer, spoke to the assembled crowd, he pointed out that Lawrence County had contributed soldiers, airmen, sailors and marines to every war this country has seen.

“We honor all these soldiers, past and present, by maintaining these hollowed grounds,” he said.

Scott Evans, a member of the Lawrence County Veterans Commission, recognized one of their commissioners who passed away in November, Tom Williams.

“He left a tremendous void and a large pair of shoes to fill. When we lost Tom Williams, the veterans of Lawrence County lost a true friend,” Evans said. Williams was a Vietnam War U.S. Air Force veteran who returned to Lawrence County to be a teacher at Open Door school. “I just wanted to take a moment to recognize him as we went about the business of recognizing all these fallen heroes.”

Nationally, on Saturday, over 2 million Wreaths Across America volunteers placed 2.4 million wreaths at 3,136 participating locations.

At Arlington National Cemetery, where the Christmas wreath laying is a 30-year-old tradition, the Wreaths Across America program saw 66 tractor trailers deliver over 250,000 veterans’ wreaths that were placed by nearly 38,000 volunteers.

Next year’s National Wreaths Across America Day will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2021.