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Two upcoming projects remember fallen service members by placing holiday greens and red ribbons on tombstones in national cemeteries
Carol Ann Cerkan lays wreaths over the graves of soldiers on Wreaths Across America Day in 2011.
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He remembered how moved he'd been as a boy, when he visited Arlington National Cemetery. He decided to take his wreaths there.
Twenty years later, his company is set to distribute 400,000 wreaths at national cemeteries across the country. The project, called Wreaths Across America, will decorate tombstones this year at Oak Hill Cemetery in Fredericksburg, Culpeper National Cemetery and at Quantico.
Businesses, individuals and corporations help sponsor the cost of the wreaths. At noon on Dec. 15, ceremonies will take place at 750 locations in the nation.
Seven ceremonial wreaths will be placed to remember each branch of the military as well as merchant Marines and prisoners of war or those missing in action.
At Quantico, members of the Fredericksburg Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol will participate in the ceremony for the seventh year. The squadron is part of the Air Force auxiliary.
Maria Leon Guerrero, a first lieutenant with the squadron, said she's proud to be a part of the ceremony "because their goal touches my heart."
She likes the way the program honors the fallen, those who served and their families and makes children aware of the sacrifices of veterans.
Sponsorship of wreaths begins at $15. Donations can be made online at wreaths acrossamerica.org or by mail at Wreaths Across America, Box 249, Columbia Falls, Maine, 04623.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425