Support annual wreath-laying

Published 9:52 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The National Weather Service predicts a high of 42 degrees on Saturday, so the temptation to stay in the house will be strong.

However, there is at least one compelling reason to throw off the covers, bundle up and head outside bright and early on Saturday.

The annual wreath-laying at Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery is set for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. It is one of the most moving events on the Suffolk calendar all year long, and anyone who is physically able to brave the cold should attend.

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Since 2008, the Horton Wreath Society has provided a fresh evergreen wreath for every grave site at the cemetery. More wreaths are needed every year, and generous donations that come from individuals and organizations across the United States help support the effort.

The Virginia Department of Veterans Services runs only three veterans’ cemeteries, and Suffolk is privileged to have one of them located here. Suffolk residents and volunteers, even those who may not have a family member buried there, have been faithful in supporting the cemetery through its annual events such as the wreath-laying and observances of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

We’re certain the cold won’t make this Saturday any different. There’s almost no better venue than this event, at this cemetery, to honor our veterans, to teach our children the truest meaning of patriotism, and to help provide some comfort to people who are about to live through yet another holiday without their loved one.

Those hoping to attend should remember that there is off-site parking only for the event this year. Parking will be available at King’s Fork Middle and High schools beginning at 7 a.m.

Those who would like to support the effort, but perhaps can’t make it on Saturday, have an opportunity this Wednesday and Thursday, as well.

From 1 to 3 p.m. both days, volunteers can help to unload, fluff and re-load the wreaths at the Birdsong Peanuts warehouse located at 206 County St., Warehouse B.