Local Donations needed by Nov. 30 for National Wreaths Across America Day | VailDaily.com
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Local Donations needed by Nov. 30 for National Wreaths Across America Day

Remember, Honor and Teach event comes to Eagle County Dec. 19

Arlington Park Cemetery is one of 2,100 locations across the U.S. where wreaths are placed at tombstones honoring veterans on the annual Wreaths Across America Day on Dec. 19. This is the first year Eagle County will be participating, including three local cemeteries, where 250 veterans will be honored.

Each Dec. 19 on National Wreaths Across America Day, tens of thousands of Americans come together to support, honor, remember and teach as family members and veterans lay down wreaths at more than 2,100 locations in all 50 states, including the Arlington Cemetery as well as at sea and abroad.

This year, the local 10th Mountain Chapter of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, a women’s volunteer service organization dedicated to “Education, Patriotism and Historic Preservation,” has worked to bring this national day of honor to three Eagle County cemeteries on Dec. 19.

The three locations include Sunset View Cemetery in Eagle, River View Cemetery in Minturn and Cedar Hill Cemetery in Gypsum. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ceremony participation is limited to family members, veterans and volunteers, who will be given a donated wreath to place on local veterans’ graves.



Mary Anne Baker, the registrar of the 10th Mountain Chapter, member of the Vail Board of Realtors for over 30 years, and a broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, has been instrumental in leading a committee of volunteers to secure sponsorships with guidance from each cemetery district and veterans in the community.

How Wreaths Across America came to be in Eagle County

Efforts by the 10th Mountain Chapter of NSDAR to tie in cemeteries in Colorado mountain communities began in 2017 with Kremmling, followed by Georgetown in 2019. Earlier this year, Baker began reaching out to cemeteries in Eagle County, which is home to Gold Star families and veterans’ graves, in an effort to remember and honor their services and ties to the community.



In need of a place to accept and host the wreaths that arrive by semi-truck from the East Coast, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties, and owner Michael Slevin and VP Jill Bossow, offered the company’s Gypsum office to accept, house and coordinate delivery of the wreaths to each of the three locations.

How to participate/donate a wreath: Deadline Nov. 30

There are 250 veterans interred in the three cemeteries participating in Eagle County this year. Each wreath costs $15, or multiple wreaths can be purchased for a discount. The Eagle County Historical Society has already donated $250 to wreaths for Eagle County.

Individual sponsorship through the main website will ensure that a wreath is hand-crafted of all-American Balsam and hand-tied with a red velvet bow in Columbia Falls, Maine. The wreaths will then be delivered by truck to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Colorado Properties’ Gypsum office where they will be housed until Dec. 19. Volunteers and other invited family members and veterans will be given a wreath to place on each marker of a fallen hero, while citing the hero’s name to honor and remember their legacy of duty, service and sacrifice.

The deadline to have the 250 wreaths sponsored is Nov. 30, 2020, so they can then be loaded onto the trucks and start making their way across the country for the ceremony on Dec. 19.

Wreath sponsorships can be made at http://www.wreathsacrossamerica.org with the option to select a specific cemetery under “Locate a Sponsorship Group” and type in ”10th Mountain Chapter.”

“It’s very special to see the convoy of trucks make the route to Arlington National Cemetery and other cemeteries across the country,” said Baker. “It’s even more special for our community to bring and participate in this program for the first time in Eagle County and see it grow to more locations across the country,” she added.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.

 


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