Veterans remembered at Christmastime with wreaths
Honoring our veterans is something the people of Ripley County consider high priority.
This Saturday, December 16 a Wreaths Across America Ceremony will take place at noon at the Veterans Memorial on the square in Versailles to honor all deceased veterans in the county. Everyone is invited to this impressive ceremony where Patriot Guard members will place approximately 50 flags around the square and the Ripley County Historical Society will place wreaths to represent the cemeteries that cannot be accessed. Over 130 veterans who have died since 2000 and were cremated and have not been located in a Ripley County cemetery will be honored at the Veterans Memorial.
According to information from Owen Menchhofer, who has led the cause to have wreaths on every grave of veterans in the county, the Leora Weare Unit 173 American Legion Auxiliary is helping to coordinate the program with the Ripley County Community Foundation. The Flying Tigers Squadron of the U.S. Naval Sea Cadets will present the colors and members of the Versailles American Legion will lay the ceremonial wreaths for each branch of the service. Kris Lafary and Faith Richter will present the National Anthem and Taps will conclude the ceremony before the volunteers head to the local cemeteries to lay over 4,300 wreaths in 56 cemeteries throughout the county.
If you would like to be a part of the army of volunteers you may contact Janice Lamping at email@example.com or call 812-933-1098 for details of when each cemetery will be honoring their veterans with the wreaths.
Ripley County has become part of the national movement of Wreaths Across America where more than 3,700 other locations will also be participating. Last year 2.7 million wreaths were placed.
Menchhofer had a vision to make the project a reality. Taking his idea to the Ripley County Community Foundation to make sure it could continue by creating an endowment fund, the wreath project is now sustainable as long as people respond. If you would like to give you can contact the Foundation at 812-933-1098. Nancy Durham with the Foundation said, “We welcome all donations, and we have been so grateful for the generous contributions of so many individuals, businesses, and organizations.”
The mission statement is simple – Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve, Teach our kids the value of freedom.