Haverhill’s Wreaths Across America is still shy about 50 wreaths needed for the mid-December ceremony at Hilldale Cemetery.
Volunteer Tammy Dobrosielski, a recent guest on WHAV’s morning show, explains the goal is 474 sponsored wreaths, which will be placed on the graves of veterans. The group faces a wreath ordering deadline of Wednesday, Nov. 30.
“Most folks do one, two or five. Whatever people can, or want to do, is fine with us. We just would really like to reach our goal of 474 so each veteran would be covered,” she says.
Dobrosielski notes this is the sixth year Hilldale Cemetery has participated in the movement, which is observed all over the country and in France and involves a vast distribution of wreaths. “They come from the Worcester Wreath Company which is in Columbia, Maine. So, it’s quite a trip, because they go all over the country. There are a little over 2,500 locations participating this year, including the two American cemeteries in France, so it’s a bit of a logistical puzzle for them to put it together,” she says.
Haverhill Veterans Services Director Jeffrey C. Hollett, who was also a WHAV guest, says the group was 56 wreaths short of its goal as of Tuesday morning. Sponsorships may be made online at HilldaleWreaths.com. The donation is $15 per wreath. Hollett says the wreaths have additional meaning, and will be placed on the graves by a number of students.
“We’re not only trying to remember these veterans, but we’re also trying to honor those veterans. We’re also trying to teach, and that is kind of the overall mission, to remember, honor and teach. So, we know that we will have a number of youth on hand that have volunteered to lay some of these wreaths. As they lay each wreath, they read the name out loud to honor that veteran. So, the wreath itself has a lot of significance and symbolism behind it,” he adds
Hollett notes Arlington National Cemetery has 285,000 sponsored wreaths, which will be delivered by 50 to 65 trucks. He will speak during the Wreaths Across America Ceremony, Saturday, Dec. 17, at noon, by the flag pole on top of the hill at Hilldale Cemetery, 331 Hilldale Ave., Haverhill.