Honoring veterans with wreaths


WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Several members of the Henry Casey Camp 92 Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), along with several wreath sponsors and volunteers from the community, braved the cool weather on Saturday at noon to participate in the Wreaths Across America ceremony held at the Washington Cemetery honoring the military veterans buried there.

Among the community volunteers were veterans from the Highland County Veterans Services Office and veterans from the Amazon facility in Wilmington.

The local event was one of 3,702 such ceremonies held at various locations across America at noon on Saturday. A total of 2.7 million wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans nationwide. Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization best known for placing veterans’ wreaths on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

Henry Casey Camp member Shawn A. Cox, a past Ohio Department SUVCW Commander and the camp coordinator for the event, served as master of ceremonies for the program. 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 flag pole located in the new veteran’s area in the cemetery honoring veterans from all branches of the United States military.

The wreath honoring U.S. Army veterans was placed by the camp senior vice commander, Kelly Hopkins, a U.S. Army veteran. The Navy wreath was placed by Camp member Charles Rose, a U.S. Army veteran. The U. S. Air Force wreath was placed by Camp Commander David Meister. The wreath honoring the U.S. Marines was placed by the camp secretary and past Ohio Department Commander Shane L. Milburn, a U.S. Marine veteran.

The U. S. Coast Guard wreath was placed by camp member Michael Sutton, a U.S. Army veteran. The U.S. Merchant Marine wreath was placed by a couple from Amazon of Wilmington; Eric Broeker, USMC veteran and Rachel Gabbard, U.S. Army veteran. Malachi Meister placed the Space Force wreath; and Shari Hall, a U. S. Army veteran from Amazon in Wilmington, presented the POW/MIA wreath.

Camp members and community volunteers placed over 54 wreaths on the graves of military veterans buried in the Washington Cemetery. Most of the wreaths were placed on the graves of Korean War, and Vietnam War veterans. At each gravesite, 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 veterans can be honored. In addition to the Washington Cemetery, the Casey Camp members honored veterans in three other area cemeteries with wreaths.

To sponsor a wreath and stay informed about event details, those interested are encouraged to visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/OHO137P

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