In a recent media release, Auxiliary Unit 82 PR Chairperson Linda Quinlan noted that on Saturday, Dec. 19, Shelby American Legion Post 82, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 82, and SAL Squadron 82 members gathered at two local cemeteries to place nearly 200 wreaths on the graves of veterans.
Said Quinlan in her media release, "This activity represented Shelby's participation in and with similar events taking place all over the country on this same date."
She noted Mrs. Rebecca Higgins, Auxiliary Unit 82 President, was the project coordinator who worked with a committee since early this fall to sell wreaths and provide information to the general public.
"This was the first time the Shelby organization had participated in Wreaths Across America" said Quinlan.
Originally, Quinlan said Mrs. Higgins and the committee had planned a program complete with color guard, playing of taps, and remarks by local dignitaries.
"However," she continued, "with continuing coronavirus concerns and restrictions on gatherings, the committee opted to omit the program portion and suggested a minimum number of volunteers assist in placing wreaths."
Mrs. Quinlan noted that "Wreaths Across America's" motto is simple: REMEMBER - Our Fallen U.S. Veterans; HONOR - Those Who Serve; and TEACH - Your Children the Value of Freedom.
Quinlan noted Mr. Morrill Worcester of Harrington, ME, is the founder of "Wreaths Across America."
She wrote, "In 1992, Worcester Wreath found themselves with a surplus of wreaths nearing the end of the holiday season. He decided to donate them to Arlington National Cemetery to honor veterans. The idea caught on, and now, every year since, thousands of 'Wreaths Across America' events take place across the United States on the Saturday before Christmas."
She continued, "The Shelby group placed 100 wreaths each at both Sunset and Webb Cemetery. Several wreaths were placed at the tombs of unknown soldiers from the Civil War.
"The chilly Saturday morning did not deter the small groups' dedication and patriotism. Next year, Mrs. Higgins hopes to participate in the program again with wreaths to honor more veterans