Wreaths 2017 files

Hundreds of local volunteers showed up to place wreaths on the graves of veterans during the Lancaster Cemetery’s annual Wreaths Across America ceremony in 2017. This year’s event takes place Dec. 14, and sponsors are needed to place wreaths on nearly 1,000 graves.

LANCASTER — Sponsors are being sought for wreaths to be placed on the graves of nearly 1,000 veterans as part of Lancaster Cemetery’s annual Wreaths Across America ceremony to take place Dec. 14.

The ceremony is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the cemetery, 111 East Lancaster Blvd.

The Antelope Valley Cemetery District Board of Trustees and the Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery will serve as hosts as part of the nationwide Wreaths Across America remembrance campaign.

“We are proud and honored to be participating in this national event to pay tribute to our veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms each of us in our Country enjoy,” AV Cemetery District Board of Trustees Chairman Dave Owens said.

The goal of Wreaths Across America is to recognize the service and sacrifice of veterans by honoring them with a wreath at their graves during the holidays. Individuals or businesses may sponsor a fresh balsam wreath for $15.

The Wreaths Across America project began in the 1990s when Worcester Wreath Co. in Maine began placing wreaths on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery during the holidays. As word spread, residents of other communities across the United States wanted to honor veterans buried in their cemeteries.

With nearly 1,000 veterans interred at Lancaster Cemetery, Cemetery manager Dayle DeBry said this is a perfect way to honor them.

“If you have ever been to Arlington National Cemetery in the winter time you will see row after row of headstones adorned with beautiful green wreaths with large red bows against the white snow. With help from Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery and the local community, our goal is to provide wreaths to adorn every veteran’s grave and every Gold Star mother and father’s grave at Lancaster Cemetery. We want to make sure every veteran is honored with a wreath,” DeBry said.

Also scheduled is a luminary display called, “A Thousand Lights, One Spirit.” The ceremony will begin at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 14, at the Lancaster Cemetery Veterans Court of honor with the luminaries being lit by volunteers at 4:45 p.m. beginning at the west flagpole area, weather permitting. This display is sponsored by City Councilmember Ken Mann in honor of his father, Clifford Mann, who served in World War II as a staff sergeant for the Army Air Corps.

Anyone may sponsor a wreath for $15 by stopping by Lancaster Cemetery and filling out a sponsorship form at the cemetery office. Businesses and individuals may sponsor 10 wreaths for $150 or 100 for $1,500.

Wreaths may also be sponsored online at www.wreathsacrossamerica.com

Sponsors must enter the location ID CALCDL for Lancaster Cemetery and the group ID number CA0082P for Friends of the Lancaster Cemetery. For details, call DeBry at 661-942-6110.

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