Wreaths Across America will honor sacrifice
By RANDY GONZALES
WaKEENEY -- The eighth annual Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremony at Kansas Veterans Cemetery is scheduled for 11 a.m. Dec. 14.
Cemetery manager Heidi Goff said headstones of 245 veterans' graves will be adorned with wreaths, thanks to donations.
"Here in the WaKeeney area, for this cemetery, we have extremely generous people, and we have never had an issue with receiving enough funds," Goff said. "Right now, we have reached our goal for WaKeeney.
"I also manage a cemetery for Fort Dodge; they are very close to reaching their goal. We also have an old cemetery that's connected to the cemetery at Fort Dodge, the old (Kansas) Soldiers' Home Cemetery. That has over a thousand veterans buried in it, clear back to the Civil War."
Even though the WaKeeney cemetery has reached its goal, donations still are being accepted through Dec. 1 -- with those donations earmarked for wreaths at the Kansas Soldiers' Home Cemetery.
"Any donation will go toward a wreath on a veteran's grave," Goff said.
As part of the WaKeeney ceremony, seven ceremonial wreaths representing the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and POW/MIA will be placed as memorials, donated by Worcester Wreath Co.
This year marks the 22nd anniversary Worcester Wreath Co., Harrington, Maine, will have wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as wreaths in more than 570 cemeteries throughout the country.
In 2010, the laying of wreaths at veterans' graves was expanded to 24 countries.
Mail tax-deductible donations to: Kansas Veterans Cemetery, P.O. Box 185, WaKeeney, KS 67672.
The cost for an individual sponsorship of a single wreath is $15. For a family sponsorship of four wreaths, the cost is $60. Make checks payable to Wreaths Across America.