In 1992, Morill Worcester’s wreath company had 5,000 leftover wreaths at Christmas time. Rather than disposing of them, the company had them sent to Arlington National Cemetery to be placed on the graves of our fallen Heroes. And so began Wreaths Across America, a Nationally recognized Not-for-profit organization that last year placed over 900,000 wreaths at 1,100 cemeteries across the country, including every grave at Arlington.
The Civil Air Patrol’s 201st Composite Squadron will be placing wreaths at two local cemeteries again this year, during a ceremony December 17th at Lindenwood Cemetery in Fort Wayne, and Saint Aloysius Cemetery in Yoder.
Preparation for placing the wreaths has begun, as the local organization begins their annual wreath sponsorship sales. “We have to begin selling the sponsorships early in the fall,” said Civil Air Patrol 1st Lt. Anthony Vining. “My goal is to place wreaths on every veteran grave in the two cemeteries we hold ceremonies,” he noted.
Recognition of fallen veterans is an important part of the C.A.P. cadet program. Locally, the unit has 30 cadets and 20 senior members. The program constantly teaches remembering the fallen. It is through these heroes, going back to those who served under General George Washington, that the freedoms they have protected can be enjoyed today.
“It is said that a person dies twice,” said Vining. “Once when they leave the physical realm, and again the last time their name is Spoken. That’s not going to be on my watch, nor any of these young people’s. I want to make sure of that.”