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On  December 15 the Wicomico Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol partnered with the Salisbury American Legion Post 64 to conduct the "Wreaths Across America" Ceremony at St. Mary's.  In excess of 70 people were in attendance to carry out the purpose of this event: "Remember the Fallen; Honor those who serve; Teach our children the value of freedom."

 

The wreaths were both donated by the Worcester Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine and sponsored by Post 64.  Similar ceremonies were held at 260 cemeteries throughout the country including Arlington National Cemetery.  Since 1992 the Worcester Wreath Company has contributed over 95,000 wreaths to honor deceased veterans. 

 

Twelve veterans from WW I through the Viet Nam War, buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, had wreaths placed on their graves by the CAP cadets.  Commemorative wreaths for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and POW/MIAs were also dedicated.  Wreaths were presented to representatives of the five West End Methodist churches for similar honors at their cemeteries.

 

The initial part of the ceremony was held inside the church due to the unpredictability of December weather.  Speakers during the 30 minute ceremony included active duty and retired military, a cadet, a representative of Post 64 and the cemetery administrator.  The cadet Color Guard presented the colors and bagpipe selections were played including "Amazing Grace" while the wreaths were placed on the graves.

 
Acknowledgements

Appreciation is extended to the following people and organizations for their support and encouragement that made this ceremony possible:  The Worcester Wreath Company, Harrington, ME; Maj Dennis Murray, CAP, National Co-Directory "Wreaths Across America'; Salisbury's American Legion Post 64 members and especially Mr. Eddie Myer (Post Adjutant) and Mr. Tom Cropper (Post Chaplain); The Vestry and members of St. Mary's Episcopal Church especially Mr. Bruce Shibe, Mr. & Mrs. James Donaldson, Mr. & Mrs. Roger Cook and Ms. Barbara Murray; Ms. Priscilla Walter, Cemetery Administrator; Mr. Donald Brohawn, West Side Ministries Organist; Mr. Matt Wallace, Ocean City Bagpipe Band; Lt Col G. Gordon Kissner, USAF (Ret.); Sr. CPO Tuck Rosenberry, USN; 1st Lt Ted Antal, CAP, Wicomico Composite Squadron Commander; Lt Col Christian Ready, CAP, Group II Commander; the Salisbury Daily Times, WBOC-TV and PAC-14 TV; the West Side Community, and most of all the Wicomico Composite Squadron Color Guard and Cadets who represent the future of America.
 
Pictures courtesy of Mr. Bruce Schibe.
 
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