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Dozens gather for ‘Wreaths Across America’ at Toledo Memorial Park

Volunteers gathered in Sylvania to lay wreaths at veterans’ headstones
Published: Dec. 19, 2020 at 9:46 PM EST
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SYLVANIA, Ohio (WTVG) - Saturday marks National Wreaths Across America Day at 2,557 participating locations, including here in Lucas County.

Dozens of volunteers gathered at Toledo Memorial Park in Sylvania to lay wreaths at veterans’ headstones.

“These are all volunteers,” says Mel Harbaugh, location coordinator for Wreaths Across America. “They come out here to help us put our wreaths on. We couldn’t do that without these people -- we’d never get this done. They’re all volunteers: a lot of military people, ex-military people, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and just regular citizens.”

The 2020 theme for Wreaths Across America has been ‘Be an American worth fighting for,’ a message echoed by all those in attendance.

“It shows we haven’t forgotten all of our fallen heroes,” says Randy Lanle. He and his son Aiden were volunteering with a local Boy Scouts troop.

More than 4,000 wreaths will be laid. This was the eighth year for the wreath laying in Sylvania.

Each live, balsam veteran’s wreath is a gift of respect and appreciation, donated by a private citizen or organization and it is placed on graves by volunteers as a small gesture of gratitude for the freedoms Americans enjoy. For centuries, fresh evergreens have been used as a symbol of honor and have served as a living tribute renewed annually. Wreaths Across America believes the tradition represents a living memorial that honors veterans, active duty military and their families and when volunteers say the name of a veteran out loud, when placing a wreath, it ensures they live on in our memory.

All across the U.S., a total of 1.7 million wreaths were placed Saturday. For more information, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.

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