Wreaths pg 3 12-6-18

PUTNAM — A program that began in 1992 when the Worcester Wreath Company of Harington, Maine, found itself with a surplus of wreaths has grown into a program of national stature known as “Wreaths Across America.”
At noon Dec. 15 the “Wreaths Across America” ceremony will take place at Veterans Memorial Park along with towns throughout America.  America will pause in a minute of silence in tribute and remembrance to the fallen, the prisoners of war, the missing in action, and to honor those who have served and are serving this great nation’s armed services. The Putnam ceremony is coordinated by the Mayotte-Viens American Legion Post #13 and the Albert J. Breault VFW Post #1523.  The members of the Legion and VFW are encouraging the public to attend the ceremony.
In 2008 the United States Congress voted unanimously to honor veterans in December as “Wreaths Across America Day.” That year, wreath laying ceremonies were held in 300 locations in every state. By 2012, the number of locations had grown to 545 sites involving more than 220,000 volunteers. This year more than 1,100 ceremonies will be held simultaneously across our great nation.
“As veterans we’re proud to offer this program to the Putnam community. Our volunteers have worked diligently in putting together a program of remembrance and honor with the goal of teaching the lesson of freedom.  This program gives us reason to remember those who gave their lives, and to pause and thank all those who have served and are currently serving in our military forces,” said Alan R. Joslin, commander of Post #13.
Following the minute of silence at exactly noon, the program will open with the singing of the National Anthem by United States Air Force veteran Maurice Coderre. In the presence of the combined Honor Guards of the American Legion and VFW, wreaths will be laid in memory of those who served and are serving in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. An individual wreath will be laid in remembrance of the 93,129 service personnel from all branches whose last known status was either Prisoner of War or Missing in Action.
Reflections will be offered by Putnam Mayor Norman “Barney” Seney and Commander Joslin. Retiring State Representative from the 51st Assembly District and a U.S. Army veteran, Daniel S. Rovero will be accorded special recognition for his public service as seven-term mayor of Putnam and four-term Connecticut State Representative.
The reflections will be followed by the tossing of a remembrance wreath into the Quinebaug River by American Legion Commander Joslin and Norman Beaupre, commander of the VFW. The ceremonial wreath tossing will be followed by Taps performed by members of the Putnam High School band, followed by a rifle volley.
After the closing of the ceremony, the Honor Guard will disburse to local cemeteries and bridges where they will honor veterans by placing wreaths at each location.  The day will also mark the formal retirement of the flags on the memorial bridge on Pomfret Street. The flags will be retired until Memorial Day 2019 when they will once again fly until Wreaths Across America 2019. The program is coordinated by the two service organizations in cooperation with the Town of Putnam’s Recreation Department.


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