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Holiday Greenery For Oregon Veterans

Oregon News Service

The words 'Remember, Honor, and Teach' are the goals of Saturday's "Wreaths Across America Program." Hundreds of special ceremonies are taking place all over the nation, including three in Lane County that place wreaths on Veterans graves. Civil Air Patrol Captain and Organizer Roxanna Cole says Saturday's events offer a meaningful pause during a sometimes hectic holiday season.

Roxanna: "We have a lot of programs for the living veterans and that's important. But I think we need to remember the ones that have gone before us, and remember what they did, and why we are the country we are now."

Saturday's wreath ceremonies are open to the public. Cole says she hopes the program will continue to grow and more community groups and individuals will consider sponsoring wreaths.

Roxanna: "This year, I think we have, like, 120 total, so it's about 30, 40 per park. There are 4,000 veterans' gravesites in these three parks, at least. I would love to have a wreath on every veteran's grave that we could."

It's too late to order wreaths for this weekend, but orders can be placed for next year. People also can bring their own wreaths to a ceremony. Cole says the ones ordered through the program are shipped from Maine.

Roxanna:"There's ten boughs on each wreath, and each bough means something – and then the red ribbon for, you know, the blood that they shed. And each wreath is made by hand, and they smell good."

The Veterans Administration estimates that about 600 World War Two Veterans pass away daily.

A listing of all ceremony times and locations can be found at WreathsAcrossAmerica.org

copyright, 2013 KLCC

Additional reporting from Oregon News Service