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Wreaths across America being introduced here by Grandview American Legion

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Ginger Emerson (center) reviews "Wreaths Across America" plans with Grandview American Legion Post Chaplain Dudley Moore (left) and Commander Robert Gates.

GRANDVIEW - This holiday season, wreaths will be used for more than home décor in Grandview, but also to honor veterans in a new way.

American Legion Post 57 in Grandview is promoting the program "Wreaths across America" beginning now, until Dec. 10.

The program seeks to honor deceased veterans who may have been away from home in service to their country during the holidays.

The program, "Wreaths across America," began at Arlington National Cemetery and now includes more than 500 cemeteries across the nation. This year, the program will come to Grandview's cemetery and is sponsored by the Gold Star Mothers of Washington and Grandview American Legion Post 57.

Grandview's Ginger Emerson, also a Gold Star Mother, is spearheading the event to place holiday wreaths at the graves of as many veterans in the Grandview Cemetery as possible in December.

"People may have seen photos of the wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery," she said. "This is the same program and the first in Central Washington."

Wreaths may be purchased for $15 and will be placed on veteran graves at the cemetery.

"Family donations of $60 will purchase four wreaths, small business donations of $150 will purchase 10 wreaths and corporate donations of $1,500 will purchase 100 wreaths," said Emerson.

Legion Post Commander Robert Gates noted that a small portion of the sale will go to Gold Star Mothers of Washington to support their programs.

"Our post is helping with this noble project as a service project to both the Gold Star Mothers and our community," he said.

Emerson noted that the eventual hope is this program will continue annually and expand to Sunnyside and Prosser in the coming years.

"We are asking people to either honor specific veterans or donate to decorate a veteran's grave at the cemetery.

"It will be quite a sight to see the graves decorated in this manner during the holidays," said Gates.

Both Emerson and Bev Schliep will be available to set up informational tables or speak to civic groups, youth groups and churches to promote the program. Brochures will soon be available in various businesses and other locations.

Orders may be placed through mid-November.

A brief ceremony and placement of the wreaths will occur Saturday, Dec. 10, at 9 a.m. at the Grandview Cemetery.

To obtain order information or arrange for a presentation at a local group meeting, call Ginger Emerson at 882-3801, Bev Schliep at 882-3191 or Jim or Nancy Davidson at 882-1984.

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