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Civil Air Patrol to place wreaths at memorial, cemetery

By Staff | Dec 11, 2009

Saturday marks nearly two decades since the Worcester Wreath Company adorned the headstones of Arlington National Cemetery with ceremonial wreaths, and nearly two decades since the gesture has become recognized as one of the nation’s most endearing tributes to fallen soldiers.
That ceremony makes its debut in Cape Coral on Saturday as the Air Force Civil Air Patrol Division brings the pageantry and honor of Worcester’s efforts to Eco Park.
The events begin at 10 a.m. at the Iwo Jima Statue, then continues over the bridge in Fort Myers Memorial Cemetery at noon, when wreaths will be placed on headstones simultaneously nationwide and in places around the globe.
“As people became interested in the ceremony across the country, people wanted to bring it to their hometown,” said Civil Air Patrol Public Affairs Officer Linda Alfonso. “There’s going to be lots of celebrations in different parts of the county and the country.”
Indeed, there will be another, similar ceremony taking place at the same time.
At 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Bridge, a special Tribute at Sea will be held during which boaters will place wreaths in the water to honor those soldiers buried at sea, missing in action or prisoners of war.
It is the first time the wreath ceremony will take place on the water, and the first time that Wreaths Across America ceremonies have taken place in Lee County.
Alfonso said the wreaths for the Eco Park and Fort Myers Memorial Gardens ceremonies were donated by Korean War veterans.
“We really wanted to bring this ceremony to Lee County,” she said.
The ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. Saturday at Eco Park, and then continues at noon in Fort Myers.
For more information, visit: WreathsAcrossAmerica.org, or call (207) 483-2039.