DPW Helps York Honor Fallen Military

Each December the organization, Wreaths Across America (WAA), coordinates a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery where special handmade wreaths with red ribbons are placed on the graves of America’s fallen soldiers. WAA’s annual pilgrimage from Harrington, Maine to Arlington has become known as the world’s largest veterans’ parade and includes a fleet of custom painted semis carrying the wreaths and a host of emergency responder vehicles from communities located along the route. Today, Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 3,400 locations across the United States, at sea and abroad. The town of York is one such community and an active participant in WAA’s efforts to remind people how important it is to remember, honor and teach.

This year, as in years past, the WAA convoy made a slight detour through York Village before resuming its journey to Arlington. Members of the community came out in droves and positioned themselves along York Street to greet the vehicles, wave American flags, cheer on the participants and feel the excitement of the effort as vehicle after vehicle honked their horns or blared their sirens.

Not long after the convoy left, a WAA truck carrying 121 boxes of wreaths stopped by one of DPW’s facilities. Here, DPW crew members and a dozen volunteers unloaded each box and carefully stacked them inside for safe storage. These were the wreaths to be laid on National Wreaths Across America Day here in York.

Then at noon on December 17, an official wreath-laying ceremony took place before a large crowd of military veterans, family members and community volunteers at the First Parish Church’s Cemetery. Heads were bowed and salutes given as six primary wreaths representing each branch of military service were placed on stands at the base of a tall flagstaff displaying flags of the United States, the black POW/MIA flag as well as the official Wreaths Across America flag. After dedication and select passages were read, the heartfelt service ended powerfully with a lone trumpeter playing taps.

It was at this time that attendees turned to find the wreaths that DPW had delivered and spread out throughout the cemetery.Families and individuals took their time to carry armloads of wreaths and carefully place them on headstones and markers of fallen veterans. It was a common sight to see volunteers take the time to read the names and pause to reflect on the m

oment.For more information on Wreaths Across America, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org.