‘Wreaths across America’ is coming to Tunkhannock.
Starting at 1 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 14, there will be a brief ceremony in front of the Sunnyside Cemetery office after which volunteers will fan out to lay wreaths across the expansive cemetery, off Sunnyside Road, just east of the borough.
Wreaths will be placed on the graves of about 600 veterans, said Dave Evans, local organizer, who with the aid of a local chapter of Blue Star Moms has helped to bring a nationwide movement to our area.
“I am humbled by the outpouring of support,” Evans said.
He noted that all of the wreaths are paid for, and area Boy Scouts and other volunteers will have a hand in placing a wreath for every occupant of the cemetery who served the nation in military service.
Evans noted that if a local community member had a desire to personally place a wreath on the grave of their spouse, parent, grandparent, child, sibling, or former neighbor or friend, that can be arranged, and all the organizers are asking is that the veteran be named out loud, with a gesture such as a brief prayer or salute, “just to remember” an individual’s sacrifice.
The cemetery will join nearly 2,000 participating locations across the country to Remember, Honor and Teach, on Saturday, Dec. 14, a tradition that has been happening in mid-December since 1992, but for the first time this year at Sunnyside.
The goal for Sunnyside Cemetery is to place nearly 600 veterans’ wreaths on the headstones of all the local heroes laid to rest there, to ensure that the individuals who served to protect the freedoms of our country never be forgotten and to bring the community together in patriotic commemoration.
Sunnyside is home to Congressional Medal of Honor winner Nathaniel Aylesworth McKown, whose bravery as part of the 58th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the Civil War has been well documented. But there are service members from nearly every war and in peace time as well, including Howard ‘Pete’ Wiggins, an ace bomber pilot in World War II, and William Wheelock Lazarus a World War I veteran who 100 years ago this Thursday, organized Tunkhannock’s American Legion Post 457.
National Wreaths Across America Day is a free, non-political, community event open to all people.
While Evans is concerned a little about parking, he notes that parking can take place at the Sunnyside ballfields and people can walk over along the Iroquois Trail which was partially formed by the old Montrose Railway bed.
For more information, feel free to call Evans
at 570-241-7615, or visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.