Wreaths Across America honors veterans at Port Hudson National Cemetery
PORT HUDSON - Over 50 families were honored with a formal escort and wreath laying on the final resting place for veterans at Port Hudson National Cemetery following the official ceremony on Dec.15.
The event, part of Wreaths Across America, takes place simultaneously at Arlington National Cemetery and over 800 other location across the country, around the world and at sea.
Wreaths Across America is a Non-profit program that has its roots in 1992 when wreath maker Morrill Worcester of Maine found himself with a surplus of fresh wreaths at the holidays and with the assistance of local Civil Air Patrol, arranged to lay them on grave sites at Arlington.
The now famous picture of the beautiful green wreaths on the backdrop of the snow covered markers was so awe inspiring that Worcester was urged to repeat the following years. As the event grew and more National Cemeteries came on board, Wal-Mart and other trucking companies joined to help transport the wreaths nationwide.
This year, much through the efforts of Lt Col Phil Collins, CAP (USAF Retired), Louisiana Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, Port Hudson received just shy of 2,300 wreaths.
Collins attributed the success to individuals and to corporations who place support of Wreaths Across America in their annual budget.
"Dow was our largest contributor of wreaths this year." Collins reported. He also explained that Dow had provided a van load of employees on Friday to assist with laying the majority of the wreaths then another van load of retirees attended the ceremony on Saturday and they have assured him that they will continue to help grow the program.
Air Force veteran and Dow Chemical retiree C. G. Mouch laid the MIA/POW Wreath at Port Hudson National Cemetery. It is one of seven wreaths laid in a special ceremony during this program, the other six represent the six branches of the military.
The mission of Wreath Across America is to remember those who served, honor them and their families and teach youth the value of their freedoms and the importance of honoring those who sacrificed so much to protect those freedoms.