Joint Base Lakehurst-Dix-McGuire, NJ. - On Saturday December 11th starting precisely at 12 noon, volunteers across the United States and overseas led by members of the US Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol (CAP) and veteran's organizations will place seven specially designed wreaths for each of the military services and one for POW/MIA at veteran's cemeteries and memorials. The ceremony will be coordinated simultaneously at over 500 participating locations across the United States and 24 overseas. Precisely at 12 noon EST, a minute of silence will be held nation-wide, taps will then sound breaking the normal silence in these gardens of stone, and ceremonies held marking both the sorrows of the past, the present sacrifices of our newest veterans and their families, and our hope for a better future when all wars become but a past memory.
Civil Air Patrol (CAP) Cadets Jose Avila (L) and Emily Speziale (R) place memorial wreath on the grave of Major Francis Burke, the only Medal of Honor recipient interred at Brigadier General William C. Doyle National Cemetery in Wrightstown. Photo by Sgt. 1C Kryn P. Westhoven NJARNG JFHQ PAO.
Arranging for and leading the ceremony and wreath placement at Beverly National Cemetery in Edgewater Park, Burlington County is Major Patrick Rutherford (veteran US Army), a resident of Marlboro and Deputy Commander of CAP Group 223. Rutherford has organized the ceremony at Beverly for the past five years.
Medal of Honor Recipients interred at Beverly are: Hospital Corpsman Third Class Edward C. Benfold (US Navy-Korea); Sergeant First Class Nelson Vogel Brittin (US Army-Korea); PFC John W. Dutko (US Army WWII; and First Sergeant Bernard A. Strausbaugh (US Army-Civil War),
Locally, CAP members are gathering wreath donations for placement on graves at Beverly National Cemetery. Seven ceremonial wreaths will be placed to remember all soldiers, sailors, airmen, merchant mariners, marines and those missing in action, to honor their sacrifices, and to remind our living generations about the high cost of freedom.
December 11th marks the 19th anniversary of Worcester Maine Wreath Company wreaths being donated for placement on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. This Company alone donates 25,000 wreaths for this observance. This is the fifth year of the national wreath sponsorship campaign that places remembrance wreaths at veteran's cemeteries and monuments in all 50 states. Each year the burial sections will be rotated so to eventually include all interred veterans. In 2010 it is projected that over 200,000 wreaths will be placed, by over 100,000 volunteers, as part of the Wreaths Across America program.