Orange County hosts Wreaths Across America ceremony at Veterans Memorial Cemetery

Approximately 3,000 wreaths were laid during the ceremony by 200 volunteers

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  • Provided photo Approximately 3,000 wreaths were laid by 200 volunteers during Orange County’s Wreaths Across America ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 16, at the county’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Goshen.

— Orange County hosted a Wreaths Across America ceremony on Saturday, December 16th at the County’s Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

“I want to thank (Veterans Service Agency Director) Christian Farrell and his staff for organizing our Wreaths Across America ceremony, which was a testament to how committed the community is to our veterans,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “This event served as a wonderful way to bring our residents together during the holiday season and pay tribute to those who proudly served our country.”

Approximately 3,000 wreaths were laid during the ceremony by 200 volunteers at the 19-acre Veterans Memorial Cemetery which has 12,500 plots. About 3,400 men and women are buried there, including 2,700 veterans.

Wreaths Across America is a national event, which pays tribute to the military’s fallen heroes during the holidays. More than 1,200 cemeteries across the nation participated in the event on Saturday, with volunteers laying approximately 700,000 wreaths.

The tradition of laying wreaths to honor veterans began in 1992, when Morrill Worcester, the owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, had extra wreaths at the close of the holiday season. Worcester remembered a boyhood trip to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and decided to donate 5,000 wreaths to be placed on the headstones of an older section of the cemetery.

By 2014, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers laid more than 700,000 memorial wreaths at 1,000 locations in the United States and beyond, including ceremonies at the Pearl Harbor Memorial, Bunker Hill, Valley Forge and the sites of the September 11 tragedies.

“We were proud to take part in this meaningful event with our partners in the veteran’s community,” Farrell said. “The event was a tremendous success and we appreciate the outpouring of support we received from residents throughout the County. We look forward to establishing Wreaths Across America as an annual event.”

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