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This Saturday, scores of volunteers will help place more than 1,000 wreaths on graves at Lebanon National Cemetery to honor deceased veterans.
The Lebanon National Cemetery is just one of many locations that will be part of Wreaths Across America at noon Saturday, Dec. 14.
“Just come out and help us honor our fallen heroes,” said Hayden Johnson, who is helping coordinate the local event.
Johnson said volunteers placed between 700 and 800 wreaths last year, and he expects they will have more than 1,000 wreaths this year.
Wreaths Across America started in 1992 when Morrill Worchester, a Maine businessman, donated 5,000 wreaths to be placed on graves at Arlington National Cemetery. Since then, the number of participating locations, volunteers and wreaths have increased considerably. This year, more than 800 cemeteries across the United States will be participating.
Lebanon Middle School has been a strong supporter of the local event for the past few years, and Mary Hogan, the technology teacher at LMS, said the students raised more than $1,000 again this year.
Hogan said that Judy Andrews has spoken to the students during LMS’s Veterans Day program about Wreaths Across America. Andrews and her husband, Mike, lead local fund-raising efforts for the event.
Hogan added that members of the community have donated to the program through LMS, and students see it as a way to remember loved ones.
“They are really appreciative that people remember their grandparents and that they fought for our county,” she said.
Hogan added that the Beta Club held a bake sale and the students participated in a walkathon as a fund-raiser. She even said that some former LMS students returned to assist with the fund-raisers this year.
“We enjoy doing it, and it’s a good way to teach kids about being good citizens,” Hogan said.