Groups in Uvalde and Utopia are mobilizing community support to ensure that veterans buried in area cemeteries are commemorated and celebrated this holiday season.
Each $ 15 donation, which covers a wreath, will help ensure that the approximately 600 veterans at Hillcrest Cemetery in Uvalde and many others buried in Utopia and Vanderpool cemeteries are recognized at the National Wreaths Across America events that take place take place on December 18.
The objective is to adorn the tomb of each veteran with a living crown made up of 10 bouquets of balm adorned with a red bow.
The 10 bouquets represent the qualities of veterans, including faith, love, strength, honesty, humility, ambitions, optimism, concern, pride, as well as their hopes and dreams. , according to Wreaths Across America.
Uvaldean Rene Garcia provided a list of veteran names along with the latitude and longitude coordinates of the grave he compiled as part of his Eagle Scout project.
His list says about 568 veterans are buriedd to Hillcrest. There are around 200 ex-combatants whose burial sites have not been identified. For these veterans, organizers will place wreaths near the flagpole to symbolize the contributions of veterans to the nation.
A handwritten list was also provided by the archives of the El Progreso Virginia W. Davis Memorial Library.
Uvalde County 4-H Junior and Senior Club, with the same spirit of honoring veterans, began collecting artificial wreaths earlier this year, and their organization is contributing to the event.
As of Tuesday, November 22, approximately 215 Living Crowns had been sponsored through the Leader-News and Wreaths Across America effort, and the 4-H Club planned to contribute an additional 160 Crowns.
Wreaths Across America started out as a simple gesture of thanks and has grown into a national movement of dedicated volunteers and communities coming together.
The goal is not only to remember fallen soldiers and honor their service, but also to teach the next generation about the sacrifices veterans made so that we can live freely.
This year, more than 2,700 participating locations will lay wreaths on National Wreath Day across America on Saturday, December 18.
To donate, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org/TX1084, or bring checks or cash to the Uvalde Leader-News office, 110 N. East St.
Checks should be made payable to Wreaths Across America.
Volunteers are also needed to lay wreaths. For more information, call 830-278-3335.
In Utopia, three local residents work to bring wreaths across America to Jones and Waresville cemeteries in Utopia and Vanderpool cemetery.
Jeralyn Hathorn, Sandra Payne and Megan Wiekamp say volunteers and wreath sponsors are still needed for this year’s event which kicks off in Utopia Town Square at 11 a.m., where the names of each veteran from each cemetery will be called.
After the ceremony, donors can collect their sponsored wreath which will be laid during the wreath laying ceremony. Hathorn said all crowns sponsored for the goal will apply to next year’s event.
This is the third time that the Wreaths Across America ceremony has taken place in Utopia.
âWe started with Vanderpool Cemetery, which was a success and generated a lot of interest from people whose loved ones were buried in other local cemeteries,â Hathorn said.
To sponsor a wreath, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org and select the “menu” tab, followed by “participating locations” and search for the specific cemetery or “near Utopia, TX 78884”.