Memorialize veterans with ‘Wreaths’

As Veterans Day (Nov. 11) draws near, citizens begin thinking about honoring Veterans. In Knoxville, one quickly thinks of the 96th Annual Veterans Day Parade on Gay Street. Organized by American Legion Post 2, it is one of the oldest and largest Veteran’s Day parades in the country!

Another way to honor Veterans that has gained a lot of notice over the past few years is Wreaths Across America, a grassroots effort to place an evergreen wreath on the headstones of the Veterans buried in our three Knoxville Veterans cemeteries. To date, the number of graves in our cemeteries is roughly 18,000, and the number grows with an average of 10 to 15 funerals per week.

As mentioned, this is a grassroots effort with no government support. All wreaths are the result of donations from the public, both individual and corporate. There are many local organizations involved in fundraising, including the Farragut High School Navy Jr. ROTC program.

The cost to donate a wreath is $15. You may donate as many as you wish. Donating to the local Wreaths Across America effort is as easy as going online to knoxwreaths.org.

You may also mail checks made out to Wreaths Across America to P.O. Box 50054, Knoxville, 37950. This is a 501-c-3 organization, so you may be able to take advantage of your donation come tax time.

There are over 2,500 locations across the country receiving wreaths, including Arlington National Cemetery. Wreath placement will take place in all locations at noon, Saturday, Dec. 18. The public is invited to participate.

With your help, Wreaths Across America is becoming a Knox area holiday tradition!

Chris Albrecht

Public Information Officer

United Veterans Council of East Tennessee