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Missouri Veterans to be Honored with Wreaths Saturday

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Wreaths Across America will place wreaths on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery, and at 26 cemeteries across Missouri this weekend.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Remember, honor, and teach: Those are the goals of the Wreaths Across America program. This time of year, the organization places wreaths on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery, and at 26 cemeteries across Missouri this weekend, including the Missouri veterans cemeteries in Springfield and Fort Leonard Wood.

According to Holly Anthony, who coordinates and recruits community sponsors for wreaths at the Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Saturday's event will offer a meaningful pause during a hectic time of year.

"They fight for our country, they give a lot of themselves," she said. "They missed a lot of stuff with their families, their friends, in order to do what they do, and I think it's important that we remember that, and teach our children to remember that."
 
Saturday's wreath-laying ceremonies are open to the public. A listing of the times and locations as well as sponsorship information is online at WreathsAcrossAmerica.org.

Anthony said she hopes the program will continue to grow throughout the state, and that more community groups and individuals will consider sponsoring a wreath.

"A veteran is a person who has written a check, up to and including his life," she said. "My goal next year is to cover the whole cemetery, and there's over 3,000 graves in Springfield."
 
As the number of sponsorships for wreaths grows, so too does the number of deceased veterans. The U.S. Veterans Administration estimates that World War II veterans are dying at a rate of 600 per day.



(story contributed by Mona Shand - Missouri News Service)
 

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