Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Wreaths Across America

Cemetery: Arlington Cemetery at Christmastime. | Submitted Photo

The Marco Island Chapter of the DAR will lead the effort on Saturday, December 14th, 2019 to lay a wreath for each of the more than 160 veterans laid to rest in Marco Island Cemetery. New Life Community Church will help us mark each veteran’s grave prior to the ceremony.

Donations by DAR members and Marco Island veterans made this event possible.

The DAR is a lineage-based membership service organization for women who are directly descended from a person involved in the United States’ efforts towards independence. A non-profit group that promotes historic preservation, education, and patriotism.

  • DAR members Pat Hancock and Betsy Perdichizzi have worked diligently to engage the community in what will be a very moving ceremony.
  • Reverend McCulley from New Life Community Church will offer an invocation.
  • Tica Barrett and Emily Savage will sing our National Anthem and “God Bless America.”
  • The American Legion and the Lely JROTC will provide a Color Guard and an Honor Guard.
  • The Civil Air Patrol will even perform a flyover so watch the sky for the plane on the horizon!

Our purpose for the ceremony, of course, is to place the wreaths. As a volunteer places a wreath, the volunteer will say the veteran’s name aloud and thank them for their service to our country. We are marking these graves as sacred ground, and keeping the memories and names of our veterans alive.

Many of you will recognize the iconic image of Arlington Cemetery at Christmastime.

Did you know that these same wreaths are distributed across the country by a non-profit known as “Wreaths Across America” and placed on veteran’s graves as annual tributes? In recent years, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers have annually laid over 700,000 memorial wreaths in cemeteries across the United States. One of the participating organizations is the Daughters of the American Revolution, whose local chapters adopt cemeteries in their areas to honor all veterans interred.

That brings us to our chapter…

It all started with two of our members meeting recently for coffee. One of them, Claudia Curle, mentioned that her husband Fred, and her son Bradley, both veterans, are laid to rest at Marco Island Cemetery. She wondered if they could be honored with wreaths this Christmas through “Wreaths Across America.” That comment spurred the other member to inquire about the possibility of our chapter participating in this program.

And our Marco Island DAR has become a participant. We have since discovered that more than 160 veterans are laid to rest in Marco Cemetery.

We also plan to participate in a ceremony to honor them. “Wreaths Across America” will donate 7 wreaths for this ceremony, one for each branch of the military and for POW/MIAs.

Across the country, simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019.

Marco’s DAR members collected the needed wreaths at a donation of $15 per wreath.

If you have a loved one whom we can honor as a veteran interred at Marco Island Cemetery, please let us know. For more information, contact DAR Regent: Pat Hancock at pathancock21@yahoo.com or Wreaths Across America committee, Ellen Camm at 317-372-1174, ellencammg@gmail.com

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