Local veterans’ graves to be honored with a memorial marker during Wreaths Across America

There are more than 400 veterans’ graves in Gladewater cemeteries – come Dec. 16, each will be honored with a memorial marker during Wreaths Across America.
It’s a simultaneous ceremony held nationwide in mid-December. On the East Coast, the honors for America’s deceased veterans begin at noon in Washington D.C. which puts it at 11 a.m. in Gladewater that Saturday morning.
“It’s a way that we can thank those who preserved our liberties and the freedoms that we enjoy today,” says Lois Reed, Gladewater Chamber of Commerce president.
Calling on individuals, families, churches, civic organizations and businesses to step forward and support the effort, Reed is spearheading the local push through the community’s 150th Anniversary Celebration. She continues to be thrilled at the enthusiastic reception for the idea.
“Gladewater has never done it on this scale before,” Reed said, “and 150 years into it, we need to honor everyone.”
Wreaths will be laid on every veteran gravesite at both Gladewater Memorial Park and Rosedale Cemetery. Not only does that require about 400 red bow’d wreaths at $17 apiece, it demands a small army of volunteers to make it happen.
Reed has been fundraising for the program: Gladewater needs at least $6,800 in donations to participate and honor every vet’s grave. From individual donations of $17 to $1,000 checks from local organizations like the Knights of Pythias Longview Lodge #26, the outreach has been a success so far.
“By the time I left city council Thursday night I had $190. That’s a pretty good hour,” Reed praised. “Within a week, we have collected more than $3,400.
“The community wants to see this happen, and I’m quite pleased with everyone who has stepped forward, made donations and volunteered to place the wreath.”
For more information, to make a donation or to volunteer to place wreaths, contact Reed at the chamber at 903-845-5501 or by email to info@gladewaterchamber.org.

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