Mothers of veterans gear up for wreath-laying event

PHOTOS PROVIDED wreaths decorate the graves of veterans on National Wreaths Across America Day.

The city’s chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America will lay wreaths in Wildwood Cemetery through Wreaths Across America for the second year this December.

Blue Star Mothers, a national non-profit made up of mothers who have children either serving or who have served in the military, are raising funds for the local event, which marks National Wreaths Across America Day.

Wreaths Across America is a charity that oversees the placing of hundreds of thousands of memorial wreaths across the country.

For the local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers, joining the effort to honor and remember the grave sites of local veterans fits perfectly with its mission.

“What they say is to remember, honor, teach and that is what Blue Star Mothers is about,” said Jane Schramm, president of Blue Star Mothers of America North Central Pennsylvania Chapter. “Part of our mission is to spread patriotism, and what Wreaths Across America did was bring civilians and veterans together.”

During last year’s ceremony at Wildwood Cemetery, which was echoed simultaneously by volunteers across the country at more than 1,100 locations, Williamsport’s chapter laid over 230 wreaths.

“We are so grateful to the community of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, for participating in our mission to remember, honor and teach,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.

This year, the chapter is hoping to double what it did last year. Schramm feels that, with the support the non-profit has gotten, it is possible.

“We are hoping we can reach 400 this year,” she said. “The (American Legion) posts and VFWs are big supporters of us. We’ve covered a lot more businesses this year.”

To Schramm, a major reason for the event is to raise awareness and to honor local veterans.

“What amazes me is how many active military members are in Williamsport,” Schramm said. “We really try to bring awareness of how many active military members and veterans there are.”