THURMAN — For the fourth year in a row, Gallia County prepares to observe Wreaths Across America, a wreath-laying ceremony for veterans in cemeteries across all fifty states and in cemeteries abroad.
Wreaths Across America began in 1992 and expanded to across the country in 2005. Today, over 1,600 locations in the U.S. coordinate wreath-laying ceremonies with the organization, according to its website.
“This is national. We’ll be doing it December 19th at noon,” Patricia Filie, who works locally on Wreaths Across America, said. “Everybody else will be doing it at the same time. Arlington will be doing it at the same time.”
In Gallia County, Wreaths Across America is observed at Tyn Rhos Cemetery in Thurman. Wreaths will be laid on the graves of 66 veterans there, Filie said.
Filie thought Wreaths Across America would be a good project to take on after seeing photographs of wreaths laid at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. A service will also be held at Tyn Rhos, and Bill Magnus will speak. The names of veterans will also be read.
This year because of COVID-19, the ceremony will be held outside, and social distancing protocols will be followed. A gun salute and playing of Taps will also take place after wreaths are laid.
“We don’t forget our veterans,” Filie said. “Some of these veterans, they’ll never have anything put on their monument except for this, because some of these veterans go back to the 1800s.”
Wreaths cost fifteen dollars each, and are raised via fundraising, Filie said. If anyone has a family member who was a veteran at Tyn Rhos, they should contact Filie, she added.
The deadline for donations for wreaths is November 23. Checks should be made to Wreaths Across America, and can be sent to Patricia Filie, P.O. Box 123, Rio Grande.
Huntington, West Virginia also observes Wreaths Across America.
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Sharla Moody is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing from Gallipolis, Ohio. She is a graduate of River Valley High School and currently attends Yale University.