Wreath laying ceremony on Dec. 16 honors fallen soldiers
The third Saturday of December is National Wreaths Across America Day, a time for people all over the country to pay respects to those who lost their lives fighting for freedom.
The movement encourages placing a wreath on the grave of a veteran as a way to pay tribute to their sacrifice this holiday season.
The Lamky, Luther, Whitehead Memorial at the Holly Hills Memorial Gardens in Middle River is hosting their own wreath-laying service, starting at 12 p.m. on December 12.
The local service is produced and conducted by the young men and women of the Glenn L. Martin Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol under the guidance of Capt. Nadine Hartman.
Civil Air Patrol is the largest group fundraising for Wreaths Across America, and its members also lead or participate, often with color and honor guards, in many of the ceremonies at war memorials and cemeteries held nationwide and abroad. Officers and cadets from nearly 400 CAP squadrons, including the Glenn L. Mar- tin Composite Squadron, are signed up to organize National Wreaths Across America Day observances on Dec. 16 in their regions, states and communities.
After a brief presentation, volunteers will lay a wreath down on the graves of soldiers interred on ‘Valor Hill’ in the Memorial Gardens. It is tradition to say the name of the fallen soldier out loud during the laying of the wreath.
The tenants of Wreaths Across America are to “remember, honor and teach”. They aim to remember the lives lost while honoring their memories and sharing their stories with a younger generation in order to keep their legacies alive and the cost of the freedoms they experience every day.
“WAA is committed to teaching younger generations about the value of their freedoms, and the importance of honoring those who sacrificed so much to protect those freedoms. The organization offers learning tools, interactive media projects, and opportunities for youth groups to participate in the events,” explains the organization’s mission statement. “They also work to create opportunities to connect ‘the Greatest Generation’ with the ‘Generation of Hope’, passing on inspirational stories from World War II veterans to the leaders of the future.”
The history of National Wreaths Across America Day began in 1992, when a Maine wreath-making company had a surplus of wreaths at the end of the holiday season. Morrill Worcester, the owner of the wreath factory, was always interested in the Arlington National Cemetary and made arrangements to travel to Washington D.C. to lay these extra wreaths in one of the older sections of the cemetery that had been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year. This continued every year and the event grew larger and larger as the word spread and more residents and businesses got involved in the yearly pilgrimage to D.C.
Soon, a non-profit was formed and these ceremonies spread, now being held across all 50 states at more than 1,200 locations with thousands of people coming out to pay their respects.
Every year, the events have a general theme. This year, it’s “I’m an American. Yes, I am” inspired by the song of the same name by Maine singer/songwriter Rick Charette. The song urges unity and the coming together of people from all walks of life in order to make our country the best it can be.
The event is open to the public and residents of all ages are encouraged to attend and help lay the wreaths.
“We are not here to ‘decorate graves’. We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives,” said Karen Worcester, the Executive Director of Wreaths Across America
For more information on the event at the Lamky, Luther, Whitehead Memorial or to sponsor a wreath, contact Hartman at 443-844-4929.
For more information on National Wreaths Across America Day, visit www. wreathsacrossamerica.org.
The Baltimore County Police Department reported the following activities:
Attempted robbery: At 9: 15 p.m. on Saturday, December 2 on the 200 block of Dargun Rd., a pizza delivery driver, was approached by an unknown juvenile suspect. The suspect, implying a weapon, demanded money. After an unsuccessful attempt, the suspect was later apprehended by police after trying to flee on foot.
Robbery: At 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 30 on the 800 block of North Marlyn Ave., the suspect assaulted the victim and stole a bank card from the victim’s pocket.
Burglary: Sometime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 30, an unknown suspect( s) gained entry into the victim’s apartment on the 3700 of White Pine Rd. by prying open the front door and then stole jewelry.
Burglary: Sometime between 2: 15 and 8: 50 a. m. on Wednesday, November 29, an unknown suspect( s) stole an ATV from the victim’s detached garage on the 2100 block of Sunnythorn Rd.
Robbery: At 1: 46 p. m. on Tuesday, November 28 on the 900 block of South Marlyn Ave. the suspect pushed the victim onto the ground and stole his cell phone before fleeing. The suspect was located a short time later and placed under arrest.
Robbery: At 11: 05 p.m. on Monday, November 27, while the victim was sitting in his van on Virginia Ave. and Eugene Rd., two suspects opened his vehicle doors, assaulted him and stole his cash. The victim quickly drove away from the two suspects and called the police.
Attempted robbery: At 8: 45 p.m. on Monday, November 27, an unknown suspect unsuccessfully attempted to rob the victim of her purse while in the Royal Farms parking lot on the 800 block of South Marlyn Ave. The
suspect then fled on foot.
Robbery: At 7:25 p.m. on Monday, November 27, the victim, a food delivery driver, returned to her vehicle after making a delivery on the unit block of Valley Arbor Ct. , at which time an unknown suspect physically assaulted her. The suspect stole money from the victim’s pocket after a brief struggle and then fled on foot.
Assault: At 1: 10 p. m. on Sunday, December 3, the victim was seated in his vehicle on the 5700 block of Daybreak Terrace, when he was approached by four unknown suspects. They asked the victim if he had a cell phone to use while pointing a gun at him. The suspects then fled after being startled by some noise.
Robbery: At 1: 40 p. m. on Friday, December 1, an unknown suspect approached the victim on Philadelphia Rd. and Longview Ave., grabbed her purse from her arm and fled in a vehicle. The suspect was dropped off and then the driver of the vehicle was stopped and arrested.
Robbery: At 3: 30 a. m. on Thursday, November 30 on Rossville Blvd. and Yellow Brick Rd., the victim was robbed of his cash by two unknown armed suspects.
Attempted robbery: At 1: 40 p.m. on Wednesday, November 29, the victim met with two unknown suspects at a hotel on the 5000 block of Campbell Blvd. The suspects, one of which was armed, assaulted the victim and demanded money. The victim was able to flee.
Burglary: Sometime between 8: 15 a. m. and 11 p. m. on Tuesday, November 28, an unknown suspect cut the screen of an unlocked window to gain entry into the apartment on the 200 block of Attenborough Drive. A game system and a game controller were stolen.
Robbery/Carjacking: At 6: 50 a.m. on Tuesday, November 28, the unknown suspect pushed the victim to the ground as she was attempting to enter her vehicle on the 6100 block of St. Regis St. The suspect then fled in the victim’s vehicle.
Robbery: At 4 p.m. on Monday, November 27, one of two unknown armed suspects assaulted the victim on the 9300 block of Indian Trail Way and then demanded his money and keys. The suspects then took the victim’s vehicle and fled.
Burglary: Sometime between 1:30 and 11 p.m. on Sunday, December 3, an unknown suspect( s) entered the victims’ residence on the unit block of Ferns Way through a rear window that was found open. Once inside, the suspect( s) stole a computer and a TV.
Robbery: At 6 p. m. on Monday, November 27,, three unknown armed suspects approached the victims on the unit block of Miceli Ct. and demanded all their property including the keys to their vehicles. The suspects then fled in the victims’ vehicles.
As part of the Wreath Across America ceremony, a wreath was placed in honor of each branch of the military. From left to right: Former United States Navy and Vietnam veteran Walter Wankowski holds a wreath for all Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action, Cmdr. Craig Shoene holds a wreath for the United States Merchant Marines, Chief Warrant Officer Shane Scott holds a wreath for the United States Coast Guard, Maj. Roc Williams holds a wreath for the United States Air Force, Lt. Gregory Franklin holds a wreath for the United States Navy, Gunnery Sgt. David Bretz holds a wreath for the United States Marine Corps, and Maj. Gary Niles holds a wreath for the United States Army.
Pfc. David Murphy salutes the rememberance wreath he placed in memory of those who served and are serving in the United States Marine Corps.