Wreaths Across America searching for sponsors
By CLARKE STACKHOUSE / Staff Writer
MONTEVALLO— Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc. is looking for sponsors for this year’s Wreaths Across America program.
Wreaths Across America is a program dedicated to honoring and remembering veterans buried in national cemeteries across the country, said Glenn Nivens, retired army veteran and secretary for the BSSFI.
The program places wreaths on the graves of veterans for the holiday season December 14- January 14.
The program is making its way to the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo for the fifth year, Nivens said.
“Last year we placed wreaths on around 2,000 graves,” Nivens said. “That was every occupied grave in the cemetery, and we think we can do it again.”
The program started in the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. in 1992. The Worchester Wreath Company located in Herrington, Maine, had a surplus of wreaths and donated them to the cemetery to place on the graves, Nivens said.
Wreaths Across America was born and has expanded to include more than 600 cemeteries nationwide, still using the live Maine wreaths, Nivens said.
He said the Alabama National Cemetery has been a part of the program since its inception.
“We were ready to go with the project as soon as the cemetery was organized,” Nivens said.
This year the cemetery will need more than 2,700 wreaths to cover every occupied grave in the ANC, Nivens said.
The wreaths are $15 each to sponsor bringing the total of needed funds to over $40,000. Deadline for wreath sponsorship is Nov. 20.
The wreath ceremony takes place nationwide on Dec. 14 at 11 a.m.
“Gov. Robert Bentley participates in the kickoff for Wreaths Across America and places the Alabama state wreath,” Nivens said.
The ANC is constantly growing, Nivens said. One day the number of graves will be too great to place a wreath on every grave.
“That day is not happening this year,” Nivens said.
If interested in sponsoring one wreath or multiple wreaths, visit Bluestarsalute.org or Wreathsacrossamerica.org.