ROCHELLE – The Daughters of the American Revolution and St. Patrick’s cemetery are asking for members of the community to help participate in the national Wreaths Across America Program that aims to honor this country’s veterans.
Wreaths Across America is a national program that places purchased, sponsored wreaths by community members, family members, or anyone who wants to support a good cause on the graves of veterans in an effort to remember the country’s fallen veterans, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom.
“Wreaths Across America has been around for a long time and the goal is to put a wreath on every veteran’s grave in the whole United States,” explained Lydia Roberts, vice reagent of the Rochelle chapter of the Daughters of the American revolution.
Wreaths Across America has even expanded to some American cemeteries overseas.
The Daughters of the American Revolution will be hosting a ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Rochelle before the wreaths are placed on the graves of the veterans. The ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 15 and will include a wreath representing each of the different branches of service, a wreath for each of the veterans being represented, and placing the wreaths on individual veterans graves.
“When we place the wreath on their grave, their name will also be said out loud so that they are remembered,” said Roberts.
Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows will also be speaking at the ceremony.
There are 140 known veterans buried in St. Patrick’s cemetery and the program has approximately 60 sponsored wreaths so far. Wreaths are available to sponsor for $15 each. Sponsorships can be done online at Wreathsacrossamerica.org/IL0136P by Dec. 2, through mail by sending the form (found online) to PO Box 249 Columbia Falls, ME 04623 by Tuesday, Nov. 26.
Anyone can purchase a wreath to sponsor for any veteran, whether they are deceased, living, or active duty. Wreaths can also be purchased for sponsorship even if no veteran is known at all.
“If they have the patriotic desire to honor our veterans, they can do so and we would really appreciate if they dedicated a wreath,” added Roberts.
The Rochelle Daughters of the American Revolution are also encouraging anyone who would like to honor local veterans to attend the ceremony.