South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

Wreaths Across America to honor local veterans

For the 10th year in a row, members of Missouri Wing Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, will partner again with Wreaths Across America, a nonprofit organization that recognizes U.S. military veterans who have guarded and preserved America’s freedom by placing remembrance wreaths on the graves of the fallen during the year-end holiday season.

“We are able to live as we do because of the sacrifices of these men and women,” stated Lt. Col. Wayne Merritt of Civil Air Patrol’s Maine Wing, who first involved CAP in Wreaths Across America. “We are able to speak freely and go as we please. We must never stop thanking our veterans. They must never be forgotten.”

By placing remembrance wreaths on the graves of military veterans during the holiday season, Wreaths Across America seeks to remember, honor and teach others about the courage and sacrifices of the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Last year, wreaths were placed on over 700,000 veterans’ graves at more than 900 cemetery or memorial sites in all 50 states and overseas.

Wreaths Across America culminates on Dec. 12 with more than 100,000 wreaths placed on gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery and numerous ceremonies held at many of Arlington’s memorials, including the Tomb of the Unknowns. Simultaneous ceremonies will be held throughout the day at veterans’ cemeteries and memorials nationwide and abroad, including Missouri. This year it is projected that around 1 million wreaths will be placed nationwide by over 600,000 volunteers.

The Civil Air Patrol is the largest group fundraising for Wreaths Across America, and its members also lead or participate, often with color and honor guards, in many of the ceremonies at war memorials and cemeteries.

Missouri Wing CAP units in Kansas City, Springfield, St. Louis, Webb City and Wentzville will place wreaths in those cities. There are a total of 30 veterans’ cemeteries or sites across the state participating in this year’s event.

Lt. Col. David A. Miller, Missouri Wing CAP deputy director of public affairs, will lead the ceremony at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.

“Each year, we look forward to the opportunities provided by Wreaths Across America,” stated CAP past National Commander Maj. Gen. Charles L. Carr Jr. “Laying wreaths is an honor to our veterans, a service to our communities and a learning experience for our cadets and officers.”

For more information on how to sponsor wreaths for Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, visit

or call (877) 385-9504.

Wreath sponsorship starts at $15.00. Individual, family and corporate sponsorships are available.

When ordering wreaths, use the group identification number “MO0020P” and location identification code “MOJBNS.” Orders received by Monday, Nov. 30, will be honored.

The Missouri Wing of the Civil Air Patrol is composed of over 1,000 members organized in more than thirty units located throughout the state. The wing conducted ten search and rescue missions, as well as two other state support missions, in 2014 and was credited with four finds.