BOCC awards grant for veterans’ wreaths

SAGUACHE— The Saguache County BOCC recently awarded money to Wreaths Across America in the second cycle of its sales tax grants, a cause promoted throughout the Valley by Carol Martinez.
Saguache County Treasurer Connie Trujillo and veteran Gene Gowens wrote the grant for the wreaths.
“It would be an honor to have any fallen buried veterans in Saguache County have a wreath laid for Christmas,” Trujillo commented in an email Monday. Family members of any fallen veteran buried in any Saguache County cemetery who would like a wreath to place can contact Trujillo at 719-655-2371.  If leaving a message, please leave a name, telephone number, and the veteran’s name.  
The deadline for ordering the wreaths is Monday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. Wreaths will be delivered to Saguache County Courthouse for delivery by the second week of December.  A more precise delivery date will be posted as it becomes available.
History of veteran wreaths
The Homelake Cemetery has participated in the Wreaths Across America since 2007 and this program has encouraged families to purchase a wreath to be placed on the grave of their loved one or another fallen troop member, whether at Homelake or a cemetery of your choice.
Wreaths Across America is a non-profit organization, formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath project. Morrill Worcester began this project in 1992 with the donation and placement of 5,000 Christmas wreaths in Arlington National Cemetery, which became an annual journey for him. This project spread to VA, national and state cemeteries, spurring the creation of Wreaths Across America. Worcester was unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, so he conceived the idea to send seven wreaths, one for each branch of the military as well as for POWs and MIAs to each state or participating military cemeteries.
The Mission to Remember, Honor and Teach about the fallen who gave up their tomorrows with family and loved ones so that we can enjoy our freedom, also to honor our armed forces who currently serve and place their-selves in harm’s way.
By 2008 over 300 locations held wreath-laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. Over 100,000 wreaths were placed on veterans’ graves. Over 60,000 volunteers participated.
Congress named the wreath laying, held annually on the second Saturday in December as “Wreaths Across America Day” at Arlington National Cemetery as well as veterans cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states, ceremonies at sea and 24 national ceremonies on foreign soil. However, due to the State House Ceremonies on Dec. 11, the national wreath-laying ceremony for 2017 will be held on Dec. 16.
The local ceremony, held at the Homelake Cemetery, 3749 Sherman Ave., Homelake will coincide with the placement of wreaths nationwide, Saturday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m.
To purchase a wreath, contact Carol Martinez at 719-849-1830 or P.O. Box 181, Monte Vista 81144. If purchasing by check, please make payable to Carol Martinez and in memo note Wreaths Across America. Cost is $15 per wreath. The deadline for ordering is Nov. 22.

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