Wreaths Across Amer­ica cov­ers en­tire East­ern Shore Vet­er­ans Ceme­tery

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Obituary - By JACK RODGERS [email protected]­pub.com

HUR­LOCK — Over­cast skies and rain didn’t de­ter hun­dreds of vol­un­teers from lay­ing wreaths on the graves of vet­er­ans at the East­ern Shore Vet­er­ans Ceme­tery Satur­day, Dec. 15.

The ef­fort is a na­tional one, spon­sored by Wreaths Across Amer­ica, which has wreaths laid on graves at more than 1,400 lo­ca­tions in all 50 states. For the first time this year, wreaths were laid on five beaches in Nor­mandy, France.

Be­fore wreaths were placed Satur­day, a small cer­e­mony was held honor­ing vet­er­ans from around the coun­try. A mem­ber from each branch of the mil­i­tary laid a me­mo­rial wreath honor­ing vet­er­ans serv­ing or who have served across the coun­try. Worces­ter Vet­eran Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion Pres­i­dent Marie Gil­more led the cer­e­mony.

“This has got to be the most peo­ple that have ever come out to lay wreaths on na­tional Wreaths Across Amer­ica day,” Gil­more said. “This is also the very first year that this ceme­tery has been cov­ered com­pletely. That is in large part to you . ... So to­day, we will show a united front of grat­i­tude and re­spect across this United States of Amer­ica as we re­mem­ber the fallen, honor those who serve and teach our chil­dren the value of free­dom.”

Gil­more spoke about the other or­ga­ni­za­tions in­volved in Wreaths Across Amer­ica, in­clud­ing the Fed­er­ated Gar­den Clubs of Mary­land and mul­ti­ple Amer­i­can Le­gion Aux­il­iary units across the East­ern Shore, in­clud­ing Post 296 in Queen­stown. She thanked all in­volved in ready­ing the ceme­tery for Wreaths Across Amer­ica day.

Doris Key, who over­sees the Fed­er­ated Gar­den Clubs of Mary­land’s Dis­trict 1 cov­er­ing 11 coun­ties in the East­ern Shore, said it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber sac­ri­fices vet­er­ans have made for the coun­try.

“Free­doms we en­joy to­day have not come with­out a price,” Key said. “Ly­ing here be­fore us and in ceme­ter­ies through­out this na­tion are men and women who gave their lives so that we can live in free­dom and with­out fear.”

Key said the lay­ing of wreaths was one of the small ways res­i­dents could honor vet­er­ans who had given their lives for Amer­i­can free­dom.

“The United States of Amer­ica was founded on the ideals of free­dom, jus­tice and equal­ity,” Key said. “Our na­tion stands as a shin­ing bea­con of lib­erty and free­dom of the world. We thank those who gave their lives to keep us free, and we shall never for­get you; we shall al­ways re­mem­ber.”

Key said it was im­por­tant to re­mem­ber vet­er­ans each day who have made the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fice for the countr y.

“Quot­ing our 40th Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Re­gan, ‘Free­dom is never more than one gen­er­a­tion away from ex­tinc­tion,’” Key said. “’We didn’t pass it to our chil­dren in the blood­stream, it must be fought for, pro­tected, handed on for them to do the same.’”

PHOTO BY JACK RODGERS

Vol­un­teers lay a wreath on a vet­eran’s grave at the East­ern Shore Vet­er­ans Ceme­tery Satur­day, Dec. 15.

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