Wreath society seeks volunteers

Published 8:40 pm Monday, December 5, 2011

Volunteers place wreaths on gravesites at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery last December. Volunteers are needed tomorrow to help unpack and fluff wreaths and on Saturday to set the wreaths out at the cemetery.

Volunteers are needed Wednesday to help fluff wreaths for the annual wreath-laying at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery.

More than 3,000 wreaths arrived in Suffolk Monday for the gravesites at the cemetery at 5310 Milners Road. The annual project is the work of the Horton Wreath Society.

“We will unpack them and fluff them and put them back on the truck they’re going to the cemetery in,” said Jeanne Banks, president of the wreath society. “We have to unpack them and gather up all the cardboard, because all of that we’re going to recycle.”

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The wreath society collects enough money every year to be able to put a fresh wreath on every gravesite at the veterans’ cemetery.

The wreath-laying will take place at the cemetery this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. The master of ceremonies will be WVEC TV’s Mike Gooding, followed by the posting of the colors by the Joint Services Color Guard. Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, which will be followed by the National Anthem by Betty Hand.

The invocation will be held by Robert Carpenter, pastor at Wilroy Baptist Church and U.S. Navy Reserve chaplain. Lt. Col. Dean Gould of the Virginia Wing Civil Air Patrol will read the Wreaths Across America Tribute.

Opening remarks will be made by Suffolk Mayor Linda T. Johnson. Phillip Brashear will be the guest speaker and will follow an original poem by Banks.

Finally, the ceremony will move from the pavilion to the burial sites led by bagpiper David Lotz. The Navy Chapel Choir of Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek will perform “Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones.” Active-duty service members will place wreaths on the first row of the cemetery, and a bugler from U.S. Fleet Forces Command will play “Taps.” Lotz will close the ceremony by playing “Amazing Grace.”

The address to volunteer this Wednesday, which will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., is 115 Dill Road, warehouse 19.

For more information, visit www.hortonwreathsociety.webs.com.