VFW taking wreath orders for Dec. 16  national event; volunteers also needed to help lay wreaths

Loretta Masnada, who is Jr. Vice President of the Post 1525 VFW Auxiliary, and Carol Prell, representing the Blue Stars Mom Chapter 20, lay a wreath at the 2022 event. Masnada’s son is a Marine. (Photo courtesy of the VFW Post 1525)

CONCORD, CA (Nov. 14, 2023) — Orders for wreaths to be placed on the grave markers of veterans laid to rest at Memory Gardens in Concord are now being accepted for next month’s National Wreaths Across Day event.

Held annually, this year on Saturday, Dec. 16, the VFW Post 1525 and its auxiliary unit are leading the local effort to raise funds to lay more than 2,600 wreaths on the cemetery grounds at 2011 Arnold industrial Way. Proceedings this year begin at 10 a.m.

The nationwide event, organized by the non-profit Wreaths Across America to expand the wreath-laying that takes place at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, seeks to further spread a three-prong message: Remember the fallen; Honor those that serve; and Teach the next generation the value of freedom.

Cost is $17 per wreath and donations both honor deceased veterans and help local veterans in need. Wreaths can be ordered by mail by sending checks, made payable to VFW Post 1525, to P.O. Box 79, Clayton, CA  94517, or using the QR Code on the flier accompanying this article.

Co-site sponsors for the endeavor at Memory Gardens are the American Heritage Girls and the Walnut Creek Elks. In the past Trail Life Boys also have helped with laying flags and have purchased wreaths.

Volunteers needed

U.S. Marine Sgt. Omicamy Myers, a recruiter from the Pleasant Hill office, lays a wreath during the 2022 event at Memory Gardens Cemetery. (Photo courtesy of VFW Post 1525)

Volunteers also are needed to lay wreaths for the December event, now in its fifth year that started prior to the Covid pandemic, can either go the website www.wreathsacrossamerica.org and click on the white “volunteers” bubble. Then look up cemetery by name and type in Memory Garden Cemetery, and the Concord site will appear. Follow the prompts to sign up for that location.

Or, Post Commander Mark Steinberg advised that community members are welcome to show up on the day of the event to help lay wreaths. No sign up is required.

Placement of flags by the graves will happen a few days before the event, and Steinberg noted folks who are interested in should register at the website so they can be contacted of the specific date for that activity.

David Scholz
David Scholz

David Scholz is back in journalism as a freelance writer and photographer after nearly two decades in education. Prior to moving into teaching in 2000, he worked as a full-time journalist since 1988 for rural community and small daily newspapers in Central Ohio and Northern Nevada, and later in California with The Business Journal in Fresno and dailies in the Bay Area, including The Oakland Tribune and The San Francisco Chronicle. More recently Scholz also worked in an editing, writing, and page layout role with the Rossmoor News.