On Dec. 14, more than 1640 cemeteries will participate in National Wreaths Across America Day. However, groups working to expand the program at Mountain Home National Cemetery are hoping sponsors will step up sooner rather than later.
“We hope to place a wreath at every veteran’s grave this year,” said David Carter.
In 2018, volunteers placed over 7,200 wreaths at Mountain Home. However, that left almost 9,000 veterans without one.
There are veterans buried at Mountain Home from the Civil War, the Spanish-American War and World War I, all the way up to Iraq and Afghanistan, Carter explained.
Many veterans, such as Lt. Frederick C. Buck, a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient during the Civil War, have had no family to remember them for many years. Lt. Buck passed on July 15, 1905, at Mountain Home, with “no next of kin” entered in the record for “nearest living relative.”
So, each year on National Wreaths Across America Day, volunteers gather to say their names out loud, and thank them for their service – so that they are never forgotten.
The cost to sponsor a wreath is $15 with details available online.
The Mountain Home Ceremony begins at noon, Dec. 14, with the wreath placement beginning about 12:40 p.m. Ceremonies around the world will be starting at the same moment.
Though Wreaths Across America and Mountain Home National Cemetery are unable to accept grave-specific requests directly, one of the associated fundraising groups might be willing to do so. To learn more about sponsoring a wreath for a specific veteran at Mountain Home, contact Bob Rambo at (423) 276-8368; Jeanette Scalf at (423) 213-6805; and Scott Foster at (423) 741-9934. If you do make a grave-specific request, please be sure to provide the group with all applicable details, such as section and site number, if you know them. Volunteers will do their best to honor your wishes.
To learn more about the ceremony, contact David Carter or Allen Jackson who serve as the location coordinators for Mountain Home Cemetery. You can reach Carter at (423) 349-4622 or [email protected] You can reach Jackson at (423) 753-4165 or [email protected]