Wreaths to be placed Saturday in Carmichaels

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CARMICHAELS – A local effort of Wreaths Across America will take place beginning at noon Saturday at the Laurel Point Cemetery in Carmichaels. Wreaths Across America is an expansion of the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery that gives communities across the 50 states an opportunity to place wreaths at the graves of veterans in their local cemeteries.

The tradition began at Laurel Point Cemetery in 2011 with the sponsorship of the Carmichaels Women’s Civic Club. Last year the club placed 80 wreaths on the graves of veterans buried there. This year, the club raised enough money to place wreaths on all 306 veteran’s graves in the cemetery.

“We were hoping to at least double what we did last year but we got enough to place them on all of the veteran’s graves plus a few extras,” said Andrea Seminoff, co-chair of the event for the civic club. “The extras will go to another site that needed help.”

The first Wreaths Across America held at Arlington National Cemetery took place in 1992 with 5,000 wreaths placed. The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember, honor and teach about the service of United States military veterans.

Since 1992, more than 1,000 local fundraising groups in all 50 states, representing over 800 cemeteries, military memorials and other locations, have joined the effort.

Last year marked the placing of the 1 millionth wreath since Wreaths Across America began. There were 105,000 placed at Arlington National Cemetery last year and 406,000 nationwide with the help of more than 80 trucking companies that volunteer to deliver the wreaths each year.

The speaker for the event at Laurel Point Cemetery on Saturday will be state Sen. Tim Solobay, who will deliver his remarks following the placing of wreaths for each of the branches of the United States military at the memorial monument in the cemetery. Frank Ricco, director of the American Legion Post 400 community band, will be the emcee for the event.

Following the program, those who would like to help place the 306 wreaths are invited to do so. Seminoff said the veteran’s graves are specifically marked.

For information on how to help the Carmichaels Women’s Civic Club with the 2014 campaign for Wreaths Across America or information on the current event, call 724-833-1532.

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