Thanks to Wreaths Across America, 1,212 veteran graves at Woodlawn National Cemetery in Elmira now adorn a Christmas wreath.
A simple act which is well-received by non-veterans and veterans alike.
“This means a lot to the Elmira area because of the number of veterans who have served from the city and the county,” says Chuck Muller, a U.S. Navy veteran currently living in Big Flats.
“It just means a lot to all of us, it’s a day of special recognition for those folks. I really, truly hope that eventually will have every grave in the National Cemetery with a wreath on it for the holidays.”
Getting each and every of the 7,800 veteran graves at Woodlawn is on the to-do list for Matthew Sharpe, who spearheaded the movement to get Woodlawn to participate in the ‘Wreaths Across America’ campaign.
“I’m hoping in the next 4-5 years to have all 7,800 wreaths covered (for the graves),” says Sharpe. “That’s the goal, that’s the mission.”
Wreaths Across America started back in 1992 when a wreath company in Maine donated 5,000 wreaths to Arlington National Cemetery. Last year, more than 700,000 wreaths were laid at the graves of veterans at more than 1,000 locations around the world.