Beautiful wreaths in honor of service

Published 2:05 pm Thursday, December 24, 2020

Once again this year, the burial sites of more than 10,000 of our nation’s heroes are adorned with a beautiful wreath of fresh greenery with a red bow for Christmastime.

The Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery commands dignity and respect for these heroes all year long, but there are special times — Memorial Day, Veterans Day and the Christmas season — when special recognition is due. On the former two days, each gravesite gets a flag. And at Christmastime, for more than a decade now thanks to the efforts of the Horton Wreath Society, each grave has received a wreath with a red bow.

The cemetery fully adorned with these wreaths is truly a sight to behold, and it honors our veterans and their family members who served. Each and every gravesite at this revered place holds the remains of someone who served our country honorably, or one of their family members who also sacrificed much; many of the graves hold the veteran and their spouse.

If you’ve not been out to volunteer at this event, we encourage you to put it on your list for 2021. This year was different, with volunteerism limited due to COVID-19; however, it is reasonable to hope that all who want to participate will be able to next year.

This annual effort is a massive undertaking, not just logistically and with volunteers but also financially.

Horton Wreath Society President Michael Yarbrough recently estimated the society would need to raise about $100,000 between now and next October to fully adorn all of the burial sites that will be there next year. There are currently nearly 11,000 burial sites at the cemetery, and the cemetery averages about 1,000 burials a year, Yarbrough said.

To give to the Horton Wreath Society, write a check and drop it in the mail to Horton Wreath Society, P.O. Box 6246, Virginia Beach, VA 23456. For more information about the society, visit hortonwreathsociety.org.