Wreaths Across America

Volunteers help place many wreaths at Corinth National Cemetery during a past Wreaths Across America event.

Seasonal hues of red and green will join the solemn rows of white headstones at Corinth National Cemetery on Saturday.

The annual Wreaths Across America event is set for 11 a.m. with a patriotic ceremony before the placing of wreaths. The same will take place at Shiloh National Cemetery.

About 1,400 wreaths arrived in Corinth on Thursday at the American Legion Post 6 as part of their journey to being placed at the national cemetery and other area cemeteries.

The occasion is a time “to show our respect for our fallen heroes that are buried there and to let the families of those people know that we have not forgotten what their family member has done for us,” said Carlean Parker, vice president of the Legion Auxiliary, “and it’s to teach our younger generation and even some of our older generation exactly where your freedom comes from – that freedom is not free. It comes with a price.”

She hopes someday to see a wreath placed at each one of the cemetery’s almost 8,000 graves. Wreaths are sponsored by the public.

Speaker for the program is Wade Cornelius, who is retired from the Air Force. The Corinth native now resides in Savannah. Parker said the program will have a special focus on female veterans.

A couple of Boy Scout troops will be among those placing the wreaths.

“And we have a lot of community people that always show up,” said Parker. “We’re grateful for all of the help that we get before and during the ceremony.”

The weather forecast does not look promising for the day.

“It’s supposed to go on rain or shine,” said Parker. “I am hoping and praying the rain will either do it beforehand or after.”

Shiloh National Military Park invites people to attend and help place the wreaths in the Shiloh National Cemetery.

Hundreds of truckloads of wreaths are delivered across the country by volunteers using donated equipment and fuel.

What began 30 years ago as a pilgrimage by Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester in a single truck to deliver 5,000 wreaths to Arlington as a gesture of thanks has become a national mission. National Wreaths Across America Day ceremonies are happening at more than 2,900 participating locations across the country on Saturday.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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