Hurlock group wants to decorate every grave at veterans cemetery for Christmas
HURLOCK — A group of local women are seeking donations for enough wreaths to decorate each of the more than 7,000 graves in the Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery outside Hurlock this coming holiday season.
The women spoke at Hurlock’s mayor and council meeting Monday, March 12, to ask the town for a donation and to spread the information on how other businesses and individuals can also help.
Lynn Riley said the wreaths are provided by Wreaths Across America, a national program administered in Maryland by the Federated Garden Clubs of Maryland.
The wreaths are $15 each. For every two sponsored by a local individual or business, Wreaths Across America will provide one free.
Riley said her group is looking for enough donations to sponsor 5,000 wreaths. With the additional 2,500 free wreaths, there will be enough to cover all 7,200 graves in the cemetery.
Last Christmas, only 1,300 wreaths were placed in the cemetery, Riley said.
All of the women in the group have family members buried in the cemetery, Riley said. When they found out last year the cemetery did not get enough wreaths to place one on each grave, they decided to help honor all of the servicemen and servicewomen buried there.
This is the first year the group is asking nearby towns for donations. In addition to Hurlock, Riley said they would approach Secretary, East New Market, Preston and Federalsburg officials.
Councilman Earl Murphy made a motion to donate $1,500, enough to sponsor 100 wreaths and get another 50 wreaths free.
Town Administrator John Avery said the donation can be included in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget.
Donations will be collected through
Anyone interested in making a donation may do so online at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. Enter group ID number MD0016 or location ID number MDESVH to make sure the donation goes toward the purchase of wreaths for the Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery.
Donations may also be made by check, written out to Wreaths Across America TM, and mailed to Lynn Riley at 206 Thompson St., Hurlock, MD 21643.
For more information, Riley may be reached at 410-330-5452.
Riley said the group is also looking for volunteers to help place the wreaths Saturday, Dec. 15.
Wreaths Across America began in 2007 at Arlington National Cemetery. This year, on Dec. 15, designated National Wreaths Across America Day, volunteers will place wreaths on graves at more than 1,200 locations across the U.S., during ceremonies at sea and at ever y national cemeter y on foreign soil. Also at the meeting:
• The council approved three ordinances introduced at the previous meeting: One that will require training for the mayor and council members, another that requires residents to remove grass clippings from streets and sidewalks and a third that will set a tax abatement for renovated commercial and residential properties.
The council agreed to table a fourth ordinance concerning the use of athletic equipment on or near public ways.
• Mayor Mike Henr y asked the council members to submit names for two newly created additional positions on the town’s ethics commission. An ordinance expanding the commission from three to five members was approved earlier this year and recently went into effect.
Past and present U.S. military members lay wreaths at the 2017 Memorial Day ceremony at the Eastern Shore Veterans Cemetery at Beulah near Hurlock.