For many years the four Kansas State Veterans Cemeteries, at Winfield, Fort Dodge, WaKeeney and Fort Riley/Manhattan have participated in the national Wreaths Across America campaign.
Each cemetery holds an annual formal ceremony prior to the laying of live wreaths at each veteran’s gravesite. However, due to COVID-19, we are under gathering restrictions this year. Therefore, the Kansas Veterans Cemeteries will not hold a formal ceremony in 2020, but we will continue to participate in the laying of wreaths on the grave sites of our veterans.
Between 9 and 11 a.m. on Dec. 19, families can place wreaths on their loved one’s grave sites. Wreaths will be located at each garden for convenience. Feel free to take pictures and honor loved ones. For the protection of families, volunteers and staff, we request that all participants wear a face covering while on cemetery grounds and maintain six feet social distancing. We also ask that no more than 20 minutes is spent within the cemetery. Staff and volunteers will lay wreaths on grave sites that have not had wreaths placed on them prior to 11 a.m. The offices will remain closed that day. Staff will be available on grounds for those who need assistance.
Seven ceremonial wreaths will be placed by staff that morning to remember those who gave their lives in service for our country. Specially made wreaths for Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and POW/MIA will be placed as memorials. These wreaths were donated by Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine. The full story can be seen and heard online at the Wreaths Across America website at www.wreathsacrossamerica.com.
We would like to thank the families, businesses and organizations who so generously donate to Wreaths Across America each year. Because of their generosity, we have been able to place wreaths on every gravesite within our cemeteries every year.
The cost of wreaths is $15 each. The deadline for donations is Nov. 30. Anyone who would like to sponsor a wreath for a veteran, make checks payable to Wreaths Across America and mail to the Washington Chapter KSSSAR, PO Box 344, Haysville, KS 67060. Wreaths can also be purchased online at www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/KSVVCW.