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Wreaths Across America Day to honor 40K veterans at Fort Indiantown Gap

Patriot-News - 12/12/2018

Dec. 12--Roughly 40,000 wreaths will be laid upon the graves of those who served our country at a special ceremony on Saturday.

The annual Wreaths Across America Day ceremony is set for noon on Saturday at the Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

Between 8,000 and 10,000 people are expected to attend.

"This year will be the first year we'll be able to place a wreath on every veteran's grave up there," said Floyd Turner II of Wreaths Across America. "That was always our goal in the past 12 years."

It starts with a ceremony, which will include a fly-over of vintage World War II and Korean War era training and spotter planes, as well as a Huey helicopter to emphasize Vietnam War era vets.

Guest speakers include Maj. Gen. Timothy Hilty, assistant adjunct general of Pennsylvania, and Nevin Miller, a U.S.Marine Corps World War II veteran.

After the ceremony, anyone can volunteer to help lay wreaths on veterans' graves. There is a proper way to do this, Turner pointed out.

"We tell everyone to take one wreath, walk to the grave, clear the marker off and tidy it up as if this were your family member, and place the wreath with dignity and respect," he said. "We want them to say the veteran's name and take a moment at that point to conduct their own mini-ceremony. They can say a prayer, stand and salute, whatever they feel will honor that veteran."

Organizers encourage attendees to dress warmly. Parking will be available near the Fort Indiantown Gap Community Center with shuttle buses running back and forth from there to the cemetery.

Wreaths Across America is held each December at military cemeteries around the country.


(c)2018 The Patriot-News (Harrisburg, Pa.)

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