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Wreaths to honor 2300 fallen heroes in Ottawa County

Wreaths to honor 2300 fallen heroes in Ottawa County

In St. Tammany Parish, volunteers will place wreaths on graves at both Southeast Louisiana Veterans Cemetery near Slidell and the historic Mandeville Cemetery. This is the first year that the cemetery will participate in this national event around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Kingsbury said the volunteers are also needed at the 1,300 other cemeteries that are part of the veterans' remembrance wreaths program, including New York's Long Island National Cemetery and Michigan's Fort Snelling National Cemetery. They donated 640 wreaths to the cause that will be placed by the headstones of military members at the Baltimore National Cemetery in Catonsville on Saturday.

"Two years ago, my father, who is a veteran, took me down to Arlington to participate in Wreaths Across America, and I was very moved by the experience", said Swoboda, who is now a senior at the Tome School.

"With the number of wreaths we have this year and the volunteers who would like to help, we chose Gate of Heaven", Kauffman explained.

Area cemetery to be part of Wreaths Across America

Ceremonies are scheduled at the Hampton National Cemetery and the state-run Albert G. Horton Jr.

Individuals have ordered wreaths to place in towns like Cushing and Perkins even if ceremonies aren't scheduled for those locations.

"You don't have to have a family member or friend buried there, just place a wreath at a designated veteran burial, and follow the tradition of saying aloud the name of the veteran, so that he/she is not forgotten", Brophy said. National Wreaths Across America Day is a free community event open to all people.

Parking will be at the back of the Bath VA museum building. Since then, the wreath ceremony has spread to many additional locations across the country, and in 2010 Wreaths Across America's network laid over 220,000 memorial wreaths at 545 locations. The nationwide program distributes wreaths during the holidays as a tribute to Veterans laid to rest at VA national cemeteries and state veterans cemeteries.