(Riverton, WY) The Wreath Placement event for Riverton’s Wreaths Across America will be held on Saturday, December 16 at 10:00 a.m. at Mountain View Cemetary.
Volunteers are welcome to assist in placing about 650-700 wreaths on veterans’ graves. There will be a ceremony at 10:00 a.m. after which the Wreath Placement will commence.
National Wreaths Across America Day is a free community event open to all people and began in 1992 as an annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester. It continued to expand as an event that honors and remembers veterans who are laid to rest in more than 3,500 participating locations nationwide, with its year-round mission to “Remember the fallen, Honor those that serve, and Teach the next generation” the value of freedom.”
In 2022, about 35 volunteers placed around 500 sponsored wreaths on the graves of veterans in a moving ceremony at Mountain View Cemetery. This year there will be a proclamation issued by Mayor Tim Hancock, a colorguard by the Civil Air Patrol, and the support of the Wind River Ladies Auxiliary 3628.
Coordinating the event is Karl Falken, who since 2007 has participated in Wreaths Across America for several years at the National Cemetery in Houston, Texas as a member of the Civil Air Patrol. Falken said that the National Cemetary had 80,000 graves and 12,000 volunteers to help place the wreaths, and said that it was a “big event,” he said. “It’s so big that the Air Force does a flyover with jets.”
“I was just so impressed at seeing what a huge impact it had,” Falken continued. “You would see WWII and Koren war vets mingling with boy scouts, cub scouts, girl scouts, and ROTC in their uniforms…and it was the only time that the youth would get to meet the real heroes of the past, in the flesh, and get to talk with them.”
Falken has been coordinating the Wreath Placement event for Mountain View Cemetary since 2017. This year they have about 700 wreaths to place, and there are about 1200 veterans’ graves at the cemetery.
“We’re trying to cover all 1200, which is going to be a tall order because 500 of them aren’t marked as veterans’ graves,” he said. “So once we pass the 700 threshold, we’ll have to get a map from the funeral home.”
Individuals and volunteer groups are welcome to help set up and assist in the preparation of laying the wreaths and should meet at Mountain View Cemetary’s VFW Memorial at 9:00 a.m.
“We are forever grateful for the thousands of supporters who dedicate their time and effort to fulfilling our mission all year long,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “These individuals and their communities know the value of remembering the fallen, honoring those who currently serve, and teaching the next generation about the sacrifices made for our freedom every day, and without their continued support, Wreaths Across America would not exist.”
If you would like to sponsor a wreath, visit the Wreaths Across America website and click on “Sponsor Wreaths”. For more information and updates, visit Riverton’s Wreaths Across America Facebook page.