‘Tribute at Sea’ service scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 12
A special floating service honoring military personnel who are buried at sea will be Saturday, Dec. 12, at 10 a.m. beginning at the Veterans Bridge and continuing down the Caloosahatchee River and ending in the Gulf of Mexico.
This service will be hosted by Rainbow Memorials at Sea and is being held on the annual “Wreaths Across America” day.
Several elected city officials will attend the ceremony, and marine units with the Cape Coral Police Department, Cape Coral Fire Department, Cape Coral U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary also will participate. Chaplain Col. Larry Ager (Ret.), U.S. Army Reserve will officiate over the ceremony. Officer Kevin Taylor and Officer Mike Anderson with the Cape Coral Police Department will provide bugle and bagpipe support for the event.
This is the first floating ceremony of its type in the country and was organized by Captain Pat McCarn of Cape Coral Canal Charters, officials said. McCarn wanted to find a way to ensure that all veterans are honored with wreaths, including those who do not have gravesites on land. Cape Coral’s ceremony has been recognized as the 1st USA Floating Location by the “Wreaths Across America” organization.
Wreaths Across America was formed as an extension of the Arlington Wreath Project. In 1992, Morrill Worcester of Worcester Wreath began sending 5,000 wreaths to be laid on the graves at Arlington National Cemetery. The project expanded after images of the wreaths at the snowy gravesites in Arlington made the rounds on the Internet in 2005. Thousands of requests came in to emulate the project at national and state cemeteries across the country. “Wreaths Across America” was created by the Worcester family, and last year, more than 300 locations held wreath-laying ceremonies in every state, Puerto Rico and 24 overseas cemeteries. More than 100,000 wreaths were placed on the graves of veterans.
The Worcester family will send seven wreaths to Cape Coral for this ceremony. The wreaths represent the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines and POW-MIA. Biodegradable sways adorned with poinsettias also will be used.
The boating community is invited to participate in the event by joining the flotilla as it moves down the river. Residents who live along shore are invited to wave flags and offer a moment of remembrance as the flotilla moves by. The event also can be viewed from the Cape Coral Yacht Club fishing pier.
For more information on the “Wreaths Across America” project, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org .
Source: City of Cape Coral