WATERFORD, Conn. - On Dec. 14 at noon, local veterans and community groups will participate in “National Wreaths Across America Day” and hold a wreath-laying ceremony and place wreaths on veterans’ headstones in Jordan Cemetery, 240 Boston Post Rd. in Waterford. Volunteers have marked out the location of over 800 veterans’ graves and are collecting donated wreaths to adorn as many as possible. The goal is to place a wreath at every veteran’s grave in the cemetery.
Civic and veterans groups who are invited and expected to join the Freedom Riders USA are the Scouts of America, New London High School JNROTC, Honor and Remember, the Young Marines, Naval Branch Health Clinic Groton, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Chief Petty Officers Spouse Association, Waterford and Flanders Fire Companies, the American Legion, Submarine Veterans Association, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Volunteers and participants should gather at the cemetery at 10:30 a.m. to help prepare the cemetery and ceremonial area. Guests are requested to arrive early by 11:30 a.m. for the noon ceremony.
After a singing of the National Anthem, and a short ceremony placing “Honor Wreaths” at the cemetery entrance, one for each branch of military service, plus the Merchant Marines and POW/MIA, a few guest speakers will address the gathering and volunteers and guests will be invited to assist in a respectful placing of a wreath at each veteran’s grave until all wreaths are gone.
Donations can made at Wreaths Across America web site,” wreathsacrossamerica.org”, then SEARCH on “Jordan Cemetery” or “Freedom Riders USA”. The donation for a $15 wreath is tax-deductible. If you donate two wreaths a third wreath is donated free of charge. All money goes towards a veteran’s wreath. This year’s cutoff date for donations is Dec. 2.