SHREWSBURY – Steeped in history and cognizant of the role the Presbyterian Church of Shrewsbury has held in honoring both living and deceased veterans, the Church is participating in the nationwide Wreath Across America program for what is anticipated to be the first of an annual event.
December 1 is the deadline to donate a wreath to the program, and volunteers are welcome to help lay the wreaths on veterans’ grave on Sunday, Dec. 19, at 11 a.m. At that time, wreaths will be placed at Arlington National Cemetery as well as at 2400 different locations across the nation, including the cemetery at the Presbyterian Church of Shrewsbury.
Located at 352 Sycamore Avenue at the historic Four Corners of Shrewsbury, the program is headed by Jacob Rue, himself the fifth of sixth generations of his family who have been a part of the community since the 1700s.
Rue, a member of the Sons of the Revolution, participated with the SAR Color Guard at the Wreaths Across America wreath laying at Fair View Cemetery in Middletown last year and wanted to expand the program to include the Shrewsbury Church. Next year, it is hoped that the adjacent church on Route 35 at Historic Four Corners, the Episcopal Church, will also participate and both cemeteries will be able to have a joint ceremony.
This year, wreaths at the Presbyterian Church burial ground will be placed at 68 different graves, the oldest dating back to the Colonial Wars. John Little, a founder and elder of the Church, was involved in two phases of the wars, from 1739 to 1741. Veterans to be honored here Dec. 19 besides Little include military members from the Civil War, the First and Second World Wars and Vietnam. Rue said he is still researching whether there are graves of Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 military members at the cemetery.
Retired Mayor Donald Burden, who is also president of the Shrewsbury Historical Society, and his wife, Mary Lea, treasurer of the society, have purchased two wreaths for the local wreath laying ceremonies and anticipate being present and volunteering on Dec. 19. “ "Recognizing the historic significance of the three churches at Patriot Isle along with their cemeteries, it is only fitting that we share our gratitude to those veterans buried in Shrewsbury by placing memorial wreaths on their gravesites during this holiday season," the former mayor said.
During ceremonies at this location Dec. 19, the Boy Scout Troop 50, sponsored by the Presbyterian Church, and one of the oldest Scout troops currently celebrating its 90th year since signing the charter in 1930, will present colors, members of the SAR will be in attendance in uniform, and each veteran’s name will be called out loud as the wreath is placed.
For further information on the Presbyterian Church of Shrewsbury participation in this year’s event, visit Wreaths Across America - The Presbyterian Church at Shrewsbury
Persons wishing to volunteer on Dec. 19 can visit this link, I look forward to seeing you at the ceremony and if you know of any friends who would like to participate, please share this "Volunteer" link: