Jefferson Barracks wreath laying ceremony to honor veterans

Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery will host Wreaths Across America, a wreath laying ceremony dedicated to remembering and honoring veterans, on Saturday, Dec. 15.

Wreaths Across America works with veterans-service organizations and citizens to coordinate wreath laying events to honor veterans from all branches of the military, as well as prisoners of war and those still missing in action.

The national Wreath Across America Day will take place Saturday, Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Old Flag Circle at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, 2900 Sheridan Road, Lemay, 63125, simultaneously with other events across the country.

Anyone from the public is invited to help lay the wreaths on graves.

Donations were accepted through Dec. 3 for this year’s event and are now being taken for next year’s event. Sponsors can designate specific grave sites at the cemetery where wreaths may be placed.

Although there are more than 170,000 veterans’ grave sites at Jefferson Barracks, just before the deadline the organization posted on its Facebook page that only around 3,000 graves would be covered. The number later rose to 7,000.

The initiative began 26 years ago at Arlington National Cemetery with the placement of 5,000 wreaths donated by Morrell Worcester, owner of Harrington, Maine’s Worcester Wreath Co. In 2006, Worcester and his family formed Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit initiative that recognizes the courage and sacrifices of U.S. veterans
by placing wreaths on the graves of the fallen during the year-end holiday season.

“Each and every wreath is a gift from an appreciative person or family who knows what it means to serve and sacrifice for the freedoms we all enjoy,” Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America, said in a news release. “We are so grateful to the community of St. Louis for participating in our mission to ‘remember, honor and teach.”
As a major partner in Wreaths Across America for 12 Decembers now, the Civilian Air Patrol has adorned
memorials and veterans’ graves with evergreen wreaths to make sure the sacrifices of the nation’s soldiers are not forgotten.

Last year, members of the public sponsored the placement of almost 1.6 million wreaths at over 1,400 cemetery or memorial sites in all 50 states and overseas– including more than 90,000 volunteers placing wreaths on every grave site at Arlington National Cemetery – with hundreds of volunteers placing over 10,000 wreaths locally at
Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

More than 250 CAP squadrons from across the U.S. participated in last year’s Wreaths Across America ceremonies.

“Civil Air Patrol is a patriotic organization with a rich, 77-year history of serving the needs of our communities nationwide,” said CAP National Commander Maj. Gen. Mark Smith. “There is no finer need within our communities than that of the Wreaths Across America project – remembering and honoring our fallen veterans – at a time of year reserved for giving thanks. CAP is honored and proud to be associated with Wreaths Across America.”
For more information on how to sponsor wreaths for Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org or call 877-385-9504. Wreath sponsorship starts at $15. Individual, family and corporate sponsorships are available.

When ordering wreaths, please use group identification number “MO0020P” and location identification code
“MOJBNS.”

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