By Tricia Nelson
Saturday, December 14, at 2:00 p.m. the Copiah Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and the Copiah County Master Gardeners will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at the Crystal Springs Cemetery on South Pat Harrison Drive. The two organizations partnered to sell live wreaths handmade in Maine, called Remembrance Wreaths, as a way to honor veterans buried in area cemeteries. The program is a fundraiser through Wreaths Across America.
A large number of wreaths will be placed in area cemeteries, with the majority in Crystal Springs Cemetery. Chief Master Sergeant Stacy Gilman, the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in charge of Camp Kamassa, will be the guest speaker. Taps will be played and then volunteers will place Remembrance wreaths on designated markers. As the wreath is placed, the veteran’s name is said aloud.
Some people and organizations bought wreaths to honor specific veterans while others purchased them to honor any veteran in a cemetery. Of the 3000 buried in the Crystal Springs Cemetery, 250 – 300 are veterans. Other cemeteries where veterans will be honored include Old Crystal Springs, Poplar Springs, and Terry. Other organizations sell wreaths for the Hazlehurst Cemetery and Wesson Cemetery.
December 14 is the designated day Wreaths Across America holds its annual ceremony and places wreaths at Arlington Cemetery. Similar ceremonies will take place in over 1400 cemeteries across the United States. Wreaths Across America supports groups who would like to get involved in the program. It costs nothing to sponsor a cemetery and is a great way to not only raise money for an organization, but to honor heroes from all branches of service.
December is a busy time for many, planning for the holidays, enjoying time with family and friends. It is also a time to honor those who have served our country. Make plans to attend the ceremony on December 14 and place a wreath on a marker. What better way to honor a veteran during the holiday season.