Wreaths Across America needs sponsors

Published 4:43 pm Monday, November 4, 2013

Veterans' graves marked with wreathes during the holiday season at the Alabama National Cemetery.

Veterans’ graves marked with wreathes during the holiday season at the Alabama National Cemetery.


MONTEVALLO – The Blue Star Salute Foundation, Inc. is seeking sponsors for its fifth annual Wreaths Across America, which provides a fresh Maine balsam wreath for every veteran’s grave at the Alabama National Cemetery on Highway 119 in Montevallo.

“As of Oct. 31, we have received sponsorships for 1,475 wreathes and are expecting to have near 2,700 gravesites for the 14 December wreath laying ceremony,” said Glenn Nivens, Blue Star Salute Foundation secretary. “This means we are short of our objective by 1,225 wreathes to assure that a wreath is there to adorn each and every grave throughout the holiday season.

“This means that when the order is placed on Nov. 20, we must have additional $18,373.00 to order the number of wreaths required,” he added. “We only have a few days left to achieve this goal.”

The tradition started in 2008 when the U.S. Congress unanimously voted that Dec. 13, 2008 would be “Wreaths Across America Day.” Wreath-laying ceremonies were held in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 locations overseas.

Shelby County’s fifth annual Wreaths Across America Program will be Dec. 14 at 11 a.m. at the Alabama National Cemetery. The event is free and open to the public. Following the ceremony, families of the veterans, along with the attendees, will place a wreath on every grave.

In 2011, 1,200 wreathes were sponsored in Shelby County. In 2012, that number increased to 2,000. This year, 2,700 are needed

Sponsorship of one wreath is $15. Checks should be mailed to BSSFI for Wreaths Across America, P.O. Box 203, Harpersville, AL 35078.

“We need everyone’s help to ensure that we have a wreath for each final resting spot for the military veterans buried in our National Cemetery,’’ Nivens said.

The Statehouse wreath will be presented Dec. 9 at 10:30 a.m. in the downstairs auditorium of the Capitol in Montgomery. The wreath is then relocated to the Old Supreme Court Chamber next to the Alabama Fallen Heroes for the holiday season.