Honoring vets

Each December on National Wreaths Across America Day, a fresh pine wreath is placed at the headstones of U.S. veterans across the country in remembrance of their service and sacrifice to their country.
This annual event was started in 1992 by Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company in Maine, after he donated his surplus holiday wreaths to the Arlington National Cemetery. In 2005, a photo of the snow-covered cemetery covered with wreaths went viral on the Internet and launched a national campaign whose mission is to “remember, honor and teach” others about our veterans. Worcester has always asked volunteers who place wreaths at the headstones to honor the memory of the veteran by reading their name aloud while placing the wreath. In keeping with that request, the theme for this year’s event is “Say Their Names.”
As in years past, the timing is synchronized at 9:00 a.m. on the west coast and Noon on the east coast, so that all the wreaths across the nation will be placed at the same time.
“During the past two years we have honored the more than 1,200 veterans buried in South County,” says Mark Turner, president of the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce.
The public is invited to place wreaths at Gavilan Hills and St. Mary’s Cemeteries in Gilroy and Mt. Hope Cemetery in Morgan Hill. Wreaths can be purchased for $15 and anyone may volunteer to place them at the gravesite this Dec. 17 at 9:00 a.m. For more information, visit: wreathsacrossamerica.org