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Saturday Marks Wreaths Across America Day

Local organizers exceed sponsorship goal

On Wreaths Across America Day 2023 all veterans in each of the four cemeteries included in TNCEMT, the location identified with WAA, which serves Weakley and Obion counties, will be honored with the placement of live, balsam veterans’ wreaths. The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dresden American Legion Post on Highway 22, and conclude with wreath laying at each of the cemeteries at 1 p.m.

Last year, the first part to the day took place at Union City Baptist Temple.  

“Having the opening ceremony indoors provided more opportunities, as well as a consistent environment, which we believed made it easier for all to attend,” stated Linda Smith, TNECMT Location Coordinator. Smith indicated that the opening includes comments regarding the founding of our country, the importance of our veterans and their service, keynote speakers, and remarks from dignitaries. 

 The keynote this year will be delivered by Dr. Joseph W. Wolfe of Dyersburg, who served in Vietnam in 1968.  

“In addition,” said Sue Priest, coordinator for Dresden, “inside allows us to provide other aspects of the WAA mission: to Teach. This will be done through music and the Missing Man Table ceremony, which will be presented by members of Rolling Thunder – TN6.”  When asked why the change in opening location, Smith said, “With cemeteries in multiple locations, it seemed logical to all of us to host the opening ceremony in different locations each year.”   

This year the wreath-count goal for Weakley and Obion counties was set at 1,500 based on reviewing reports by Smith and others on the TNECMT steering committee.  

Smith commented that Priest lobbied to raise the goal to 2,000.  “In fact, with a great deal of teamwork and support from individuals, organizations, and businesses throughout the area, we met Sue’s goal with over 2,000 (sponsored) wreaths,“  stated Smith. Wreaths over and above the required wreath count are banked for the coming year. Both Priest and Smith agreed that this will give TNECMT a good start for 2024, as three more cemeteries have discussed joining the group.  

Although not absolutely necessary, those interested in participating in this year’s wreath placement are encouraged to register to volunteer so that they can be kept up-to-date on details for the day as it gets closer. To register to volunteer go to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/TNECMT or email lin_lees@hotmail.com.

To sponsor a wreath and stay informed about event details, visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/TNECMT.  Sponsorships may occur throughout the year using this site. Additional activities and contact information are also present.

Wreaths Across America is the non-profit organization best known for placing veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of our nation’s fallen at Arlington National Cemetery.

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