The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

May 3, 2014

Cover the cemetery

Volunteer seeks donations for veterans' wreaths

With winter barely a memory away, people might not want to think about Christmas.

Tammy Williams, however, is encouraging people to start thinking now about a way to honor veterans over the holiday season — by placing wreaths on graves as part of Wreaths Across America.

It’s not too early to make a donation to cover the cost of a wreath or to volunteer to help Williams contact businesses and work out the details.

“Instead of worrying about presents at Christmas time, try to give something to the veterans,” she said.

This year, the Wreaths Across America ceremony will be at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 at the Danville National Cemetery. Deadline to make donations is Dec. 1; anything donated after that will go to the 2015 placement.

“We want to teach our children about honoring and respecting current veterans and veterans of the past,” said Williams, who’s the location coordinator for the national Wreaths Across America. “This is one thing you do to show your kids, and to do something for someone else.”

About 300 wreaths were donated last year, Williams said, but she hopes to cover at least 2,000 graves this year. About 250 wreaths cover one section at the cemetery, which has 22 sections, plus the cremation area.

Williams’ goal is to cover one circle, which contains eight sections and 2,000 graves and 54 graves toward the entrance.

A wreath also will be placed on the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Morton A. Read (Civil War).

An individual wreath costs $15; a family may buy four wreaths for $60; a small business, 10 wreaths at $150; or a corporate sponsorship, 100 wreaths or more at $15 each.

All wreaths ordered will be sent directly to the National Cemetery, not to individuals.

In past years, the local Wreaths Across America ceremony was coordinated by Danville Elks Lodge 332, which will continue to help out this year.

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