Andes committee seeks support for cemetery wreath project
By Julia Green
An Andes committee is participating in the national Wreaths Across America program, and is seeking community support. The Christmas Wreaths Committee in Andes, led by Carol Tubbs, has placed canisters at a number of area establishments to collect funds for the project, including Hogan’s General Store, Woodies Country Kitchen, The Slow Down Café, The Tremperskill Country Store, The Andes Hotel, and Cantina. An account will also be opened at the National Bank of Delaware County in Andes to accept donations.
The tradition of laying wreaths began in 1992 when Worcester Wreath Company, based in Harringtone, Maine, began placing wreaths on headstones at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, during the holiday season. The ritual has since spread, and Wreaths Across America was created in 2006. Last year, 286 locations throughout the country hosted ceremonies to place 32,553 wreaths on the graves of fallen heroes.
It was during a trip to Arlington that Tubbs first became aware of the program.
“I went down to Arlington with my sister last year, and this is what started the whole thing because it was absolutely gorgeous,” she said. “There were 10,000 wreaths and 3,000 people showed up to distribute them. That’s what got me started.”
This year will be the first for the program, though Tubbs hopes to continue the tradition in future years if it is a success.
“Hopefully I can do it yearly, but it depends upon the response because we’ll need about 275 wreaths, and that’s a lot,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll get enough money to continue on. We will definitely do it this year.”
Tubbs is still seeking a provider of wreaths as well, and the planning is still in the early stages.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Tubbs said. “But after going down there, I just think it’s a beautiful idea. If you could have seen 10,000 graves with wreaths, nobody could deny that it was beautiful.”
The laying of the wreaths in the three Andes cemeteries is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 6. Those interested in making donations to the project may do so in any of the collection jars, or by sending a donation to the National Bank of Delaware County in Andes.