The community of Mt. Auburn will host its third Wreaths Across America ceremony on Saturday, December 17. The program is headquartered in Columbia Falls, Maine and got its start in 1992, when a surplus of fresh-made Christmas wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery. What began as a simple, heart-felt remembrance, has grown into a national program over a 25 year period of time, with cemeteries in all 50 states now participating.
The program continues to grow in Iowa, as well. When Mt. Auburn held its first ceremony in 2014, it was one of just six locations in the state of Iowa honoring veterans in this unique way. On Saturday, a total of 10 other cemeteries in Algona, Boone, Keokuk, LeMars, Marshalltown, Sioux Center, Tipton and Van Meter will join Mt. Auburn for the special ceremony that begins at 11 AM.
This year, Mt. Auburn’s ceremony will begin indoors at the local Legion Hall, with veteran Casey Robb serving as the guest presenter. Program coordinator, Ruth Coots Intlekofer, noted that following the ceremony inside, participants will adjourn to the cemetery, where the nearly 100 wreaths ordered by family, friends and community members will be placed on the graves of veterans laid to rest there.
“I love doing this for my hometown community, especially since I know several of the veterans that have passed and many veterans that are still with us. It is a time to thank every single one of them,” she said.
While the task of coordinating wreath sales, recruiting volunteers and organizing the ceremony is a big commitment, Ruth is very appreciative of the help the Mt. Auburn community continues to provide, by way of donations and the volunteering of time, to make Wreaths Across America a successful effort that benefits local veterans and the greater community.
For more information about Wreaths Across America or the Mt. Auburn ceremony that will take place on December 17, visit www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org or the I Love Mt. Auburn Facebook page.