DAR, students honor veterans with holiday wreaths
Together with volunteers throughout the Greater New Milford area and across the nation, four students from the Glenholme School in Washington recently participated in the Wreaths Across America tribute to honor America's servicemen and women.
The ceremony at Judea Cemetery in Washington was led by representatives of the Judea chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
On hand to assist with the ceremony were veterans James Gollsneider (USMC retired), of New Preston/Marble Dale; Owen Moore (U.S. Army retired), of New Preston; and Robert "Rocky" Tomlinson (USMC retired), of Washington.
The DAR's Sheila Anson and Cindy Brissett spoke about their organization and shared a story behind the wreath-laying practice, begun by Morrill Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Co. in Harrington, Maine.
When faced with a surplus of wreaths 11 years ago, Morrill arranged for them to be placed quietly on the gravestones of veterans in Arlington Cemetery.
In 2007, a group of veterans and volunteers collaborated with the Worcester family to found the nonprofit organization Wreaths Across America.
Today, thousands of volunteers across the nation work together with WAA to carry out the tribute each December.
Gollsneider highlighted the meaning behind the tradition.
"Remembering those who bore the weight of supporting this great nation, is an essential duty for all who endeavor to carry it towards an even brighter future," he said.
With those thoughts in mind and bundles of personal remembrance wreaths in hand, the group set out through the snow to find each grave marked with an American flag and honor the veteran who rests there.
As in years past, six wreaths are displayed around the town of Washington.
Wreaths for the ceremony are crafted by Painter Ridge Farm in Washington.
"Each year, on one special day in December, the nation pauses, remembers, and gives thanks to the multitudes of American men and women who selflessly serve in our nation's armed forces," said Glenholme's Denise Watson. "We honor their service, sacrifice and the examples they set for the current and future generations of patriots who will follow.
"The Glenholme community is honored to be a part of this salute to the heroes of America," she said.