PART OF THE CROWD attending the Wreaths Across America dedication ceremony Dec. 14 in Crystal Springs Cemetery listen as the ceremony was conducted by Tricia Nelson of Copiah County Master Gardeners and Copiah Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and Stacy Gilman, guest speaker.
By Tricia Nelson Numerous volunteers were on-hand Saturday for the second annual veterans wreath-laying ceremony. The event, sponsored by the Copiah Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Copiah County Master Gardeners, was held at the Crystal Springs City Cemetery. The two organizations partnered to sell live wreaths handmade in Maine, called Remembrance wreaths, as a way to honor veterans. The program is offered by Wreaths Across America (WAA). 108 wreaths were picked up at a central location in Wesson and the majority of them were designated for the Crystal Springs City Cemetery. Some were ordered for other local cemeteries such as Gallman, Poplar Springs, Old Crystal Springs, Pilgrims Rest, New Zion, Gatesville Baptist, and Bethesda. Chief Master Sergeant Stacy Gilman said a few words before the wreath-laying began. The veteran’s name was read aloud as the wreath was placed upon the headstone. Some wreaths were purchased to honor specific veterans while others were purchased to honor any veteran in a cemetery. Several local businesses purchased non-specific wreaths. The DAR and Master Gardeners wish to thank Crystal Springs Hardware, Wisteria Inn, Chopsticks, That Perfect Piece, Pappas Pizza, the Knights of Columbus, and the many individuals who sponsored wreaths. Wreaths Across America designated December 14 as the official day to hold ceremonies and it is also the day the organization placed wreaths on all the graves at Arlington Cemetery. Similar ceremonies took place in over 1600 cemeteries across the U. S. Georgetown, Wesson, and Hazlehurst also held events. It costs nothing to sponsor a cemetery and is a great way to not only fundraise for an organization, but to honor heroes from all branches of service. As the sponsorships grow each year, hopefully there will one day be enough wreaths for every veteran. Wreaths can be sponsored online through the WAA website any time of the year. Photos from December 14th’s ceremony at Crystal Springs City Cemetery can be found in here.