Wreath ceremony honors vets

SALEM – Area residents are invited to pause a few minutes to remember fallen veterans and those who have served during a wreath-laying ceremony at 10 a.m. Saturday on the Village Green at the corner of State Street and Lincoln Avenue.

“I think it’s the least we can do during this holiday season of hustle and bustle to take the time to remember our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Salem Memorial & Patriotic Association Secretary Linda Steffen said.

This will be the second year for the event, which she said will coincide with Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday. Wreaths Across America is scheduled to reach Arlington National Cemetery from its starting point in the state of Maine with a convoy of wreaths.

Wreaths Across America began in December 1992 when Maine businessman Morrill Worcester had a surplus of wreaths made with live greenery for the holidays and decided to honor deceased veterans by taking the wreaths adorned with red bows to Arlington.

The nonprofit organization expanded the wreath-laying ceremony beyond the borders of Arlington National Cemetery to locations across the country.

Steffen said retired Chaplain Ross Jackson will offer a prayer during the local wreath-laying ceremony. The AMVETS Post 45 Honor Guard will take part along with Salem Mayor John Berlin.

After the placement of the live greenery wreath at the memorial on the Village Green in front of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce building, wreaths will also be placed at the veterans’ memorials at Hope Cemetery and Grandview Cemetery.

She said anyone is welcome to attend.

To learn more about Wreaths Across America, visit the group’s website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.