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Help DAR remember our fallen -- one wreath at a time

Nov. 08, 2013 @ 05:27 PM

The Kanawha Valley Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution is joining with other groups across the nation in a project known as "Wreaths Across America," whose mission is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom. Its goal is to generate sponsors for wreaths that will be placed on veterans' graves in nearly 800 national cemeteries in the United States and 25 on foreign soil.

On Saturday, Dec. 14, at noon, along with other communities across the country, the Kanawha Valley Chapter is sponsoring a ceremony to place live wreaths on veterans' graves in the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery in Dunbar, W.Va.

There are more than 175 veterans buried in the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery. Sponsors are needed in order to place a wreath on every grave. Individuals may support the efforts of the Kanawha Valley Chapter by sponsoring a wreath. The cost is $15 per wreath. Each wreath is made from fresh pine greenery and adorned with a red bow.

You can read all about Wreaths Across America -- which is strictly a nonprofit effort using lots of volunteers -- by visiting their website at www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org. In tribute of their service to our country, a wreath is placed on the veteran's grave. The wreaths are delivered by volunteer truckers. On the day of the tribute, the wreaths are placed on the tombstones of the veterans and there is a short service, all open to the public. Wreaths Across America also donates a wreath to represent each branch of the service along with one for POWs and MIAs.

If you would like to participate, write a check payable to "Wreaths Across America." Please send your contributions to Patty Young, Kanawha Valley Chairman of WAM-Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery, 2379 Sycamore Road, Hurricane, WV 25526, before Nov. 20. You may sponsor more than one grave.

The public is invited to participate at noon on Saturday, Dec. 14, at the Donel C. Kinnard State Veterans Cemetery for the Wreaths Across America ceremony. Hopefully members of the American Legion, the Patriot Guard, Boy and Girl Scout groups, 4-H groups and other DAR Chapters in the Charleston area and other groups will volunteer to help lay the wreaths and assist with the ceremony. If you are willing to help, please contact Patty Young, Kanawha Valley Chairman of Wreath Across -Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery by phone at 304-550-8046 or at email payoungwv@yahoo.com.

Many of us have a family member, friend, or co-worker who is either serving our country now or has given their service, and perhaps their life, to protect our freedoms. It is the mission of the Wreaths Across America program to REMEMBER the fallen; to HONOR those that serve and their families and, to TEACH our children the value of freedom.

Our goal, and the goal of Wreaths Across America, is to present a consistent and positive message to the public about the importance of honoring the memories of all who sacrificed their time, their family, their health, and often their lives, to protect the freedoms we enjoy.

Please help us reach this goal by place a wreath on every veteran's grave in the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Cemetery on Dec. 14, 2013.

Shirley M. Gilkeson is the Past Vice President General NSDAR and Honorary Regent Kanawha Valley Chapter/ Public Relations Chairman. She can be reached at SGilkeson@aol.com.

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