Over a dozen members of the “Henry Casey Camp 92 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW),” along with several volunteers from the community, braved the snow and cold temperature on Saturday at noon to participate in the “Wreaths Across America” ceremony held at the Washington Cemetery to honor the military veterans buried there.
The local event was one of more than 2,200 such ceremonies held at various locations across America at noon on Saturday. Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization best known for placing veterans’ wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.
Shawn A. Cox served as master of ceremonies for the program. Cox is a Henry Casey Camp member, was the camp coordinator for the event, and is a past Ohio Department SUVCW Commander. After a brief account of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War being a Congressionally Chartered organization that is the legal heir to the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a wreath was placed at the base of each of the military service flag poles located at the veteran’s plaza in the cemetery honoring all veterans.
The wreath honoring U. S. Army veterans was placed by the camp junior vice commander, Kelly Hopkins, a U. S. Army veteran. The Navy wreath was placed by camp council member Paul S. Grim, a U. S. Air Force veteran. The U. S. Air Force wreath was placed by camp council member James L. Grim, a U. S. Air Force veteran. The wreath honoring the U. S. Marines was placed by the camp secretary, Shane L. Milburn, a U. S. Marine veteran and a former commander of the Ohio Department SUVCW. The U. S. Coast Guard wreath was placed by camp member Irven R. Cassio. David Meister, senior vice commander, placed the POW/MIA wreath
Camp members and community volunteers placed over 60 wreaths on the graves of military veterans buried in the Washington cemetery. At each grave site the person placing the wreath would announce the name of the veteran, thank him for his service and salute. It is believed that a veteran is not forgotten as long as his name is remembered.
Cox said he hoped more wreath sponsors and volunteers can be found next year so that more of the approximately 1,000 veterans buried in the Washington Cemetery can be honored. He would also like to include veterans in other local cemeteries.
To sponsor a wreath and stay informed about event details, those interested are encouraged to visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/163622/Overview/?relatedId=0.