Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wreath-Laying Honor

Last Saturday was the annual wreath-laying at A. J. Horton Veteran's Cemetery in Suffolk, Virginia. The ceremony itself is part of the Wreaths Across America movement to decorate each veterans grave with a wreath at Christmastime.

I know that a lot of people are unaware of Wreaths Across America, especially if you don't have a loved one in a Veterans Cemetery. I was reading an article in The Virginian Pilot and thought perhaps you'd like to learn a little more about this moving tribute.

  • Here in Suffolk, Va. the wreaths are purchased by donations.
  • This year there were 5, 800 bought at the Worcester Wreath Company (I think that is in Maine, but I am not sure. Somewhere in the New England area.)
  • A volunteer drives the 18-wheeler from the plant to a warehouse in Suffolk.
  • Ten wreaths are packed in each cardboard box and must be removed and 'fluffed'.
  • Besides the fluffing that must be done, each red bow must be straightened.
  • The next day the wreaths are transported to the cemetery by the 18-wheeler.

  • Family members are allowed to place a wreath on their own loved ones grave

  • Volunteers, hundreds of them, complete the task.

  • This is followed by a ceremony with music, a speech and other activities.

  • Finally, the crowd is led across the cemetery with a bagpiper in lead. 

  •  Wreaths are placed on a few chosen graves. Taps is played.

If you haven't attended one of these wreath-laying ceremonies, I suggest that you go next year. It will move you to tears, change your life in many ways, and what a great way to start off the Christmas season.



  1. Hello There, I enjoyed your post today. What a fantastic and emotional honor that they are doing... How special to be able to lay a wreath on the grave of a lived one... God Bless them all.

    Sorry I haven’t been around much lately. I do try to read blogs—but just haven’t commented very much lately like I usually try to do. Please don’t give up on me. Hopefully my life will be back to ‘normal’— whatever that is (ha), sometime in January.

    I did get a cortisone shot in my knee —which has helped with the pain somewhat. In January, I will most likely have meniscus tear surgery…. BUT—in the meantime, I plan to have a fantastic Christmas —and hopefully get to see my kids/grands… God is Good.


  2. I learned of this a couple of years ago when someone emailed it to me. I think it is a beautiful tradition. I don't think it is done anywhere near here.

  3. I agree with Grandma Barb. This is a beautiful tradition.

  4. Fantastic ceremony, Mom! I am so glad they do this!

  5. What a lovely ceremony.. The wreaths look beautiful. Thanks for sharing this, have a happy day!

  6. ….and that last photo just touched my heart, seeing the graves of so many special veterans to whom we should always be so grateful for what they did for this country. Bob and I have never seen this before and think it is a wonderful thing to do at Christmas.

    Happy Christmas Latane, and may the coming year be especially kind to you and your lovely family.

    Hugs - Mary

  7. Such a nice ceremony. I'm going to an internment ceremony in Arlington in a couple of weeks. Such a moving place to be.

  8. I've seen the wreaths, but didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing.

  9. We recently discovered this cemetery. The wreaths are beautiful.


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