Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Public Wreath Laying Program was cancelled this year. However, on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 8 AM with a temperature of 25 degrees, the Volunteers along with a limited number of helpers from throughout Virginia gathered to lay the 1,350+ wreaths. Check out our pictures of these activities below..
The Wreath Committee is comprised of all members and is charged with the purchase and placement of live holiday wreaths on each grave site at the cemetery. The annual "Wreath Laying Ceremony" is held on the second Saturday in December of each year. The Ceremony includes a motorcycle drive-by, the UAW Veterans Freedom Truck, presentation of the colors, a military band, the Honor Guard, and distinguished guest speakers. Family members are invited to lay wreaths first followed by all others who wish to participate. The wreaths are provided by generous donations from individuals, Corporate Sponsors, and organizations throughout the year. Three hundred and fifty wreaths were laid in the first ceremony on December 14, 2013. Each year the number of gravesites increases placing greater demands on the Committee's fundraising goals. In 2017 over 1000 wreaths were laid. With continued generous support from the public we hope to continue the wreath laying in the coming years.
"The wreaths are made of live interlocking branches and are a tradition dating back to 3rd Century B.C. Greece. They are a symbol of strength and victory. But the most important symbol, Eternal Life, upholds the tradition of replacing the live wreaths each and every year."
"All is well, safely rest, God is nigh." From Taps by Daniel Butterfield
Cemetery staff open the boxes and prepare the wreaths for placement around the cemetery
Thank you community helper for doing the job of cleaning up
Hey volunteer Ginger Clayton with two community helpers on either side
Community workers laying wreaths
Our Wytheville Starbucks Refreshment team: Ryan Bradberry, Manager and Helpers, Michael, Sara Mae, and Jori.
Workers standing at attention for Taps to signal the beginning of the laying of the wreaths
Volunteer member Barbara Clites lays a wreath in the memorial garden.
Email Moldavan, American Legion Post 58, Dublin, presents Taps to begin the wreath laying activities.
Volunteer members serve refreshments: Zelda Italiano and Linda Williams
Wreaths layed at the Columbarium
Volunteer Eulalia Mills checks out placement of wreaths.
Wreaths being laid by community workers in the memorial garden.
Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetary
Saturday morning December 19, 2000
1,350+ wreaths laid
A community helper has an arm load of wreaths