Wreaths Across America; Bay Township begins laying wreaths on graves of veterans

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The Bay Township Cemetery Committee has teamed up with the Horton Bay United Methodist Church to form the Bay Township Area Cemeteries (BTAC) group.

The group plans to “lay” a wreath on the grave of all 41 confirmed veterans buried in the three Bay Township cemeteries.

These cemeteries include: Oaklawn Cemetery on Horton Bay Road North; Dyer Cemetery on Camp Daggett Road; and North Bay Cemetery on Church Road. The BTAC group is proud to be an official, local sponsor for the Wreaths Across America program- the very first in Charlevoix County.

The mission of the Wreaths across America (WAA) project is “to Remember, Honor and Teach.”

The project is carried out in part by coordinating wreath laying ceremonies on a specified Saturday each December at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.

The WAA also organizes a week of events including international veteran’s tributes, ceremonies at State Houses and a week-long “Veteran’s Parade” that extends between Maine and Virginia, with stops along the way to spread their message about the importance of remembering our fallen heroes, honoring those who served, and teaching our nation’s children about the sacrifices made by veterans and their families to preserve our freedoms.

The WAA also coordinates veteran services and recognition through a variety of programs, and provides schools with teaching aides for projects throughout the year.

This week of events is made possible by thousands of volunteers who organize local ceremonies, raise funds to sponsor wreaths, and participate in these events.

The WAA receives no government funding. The cost of our programs is paid by individual wreaths sponsors, corporate donors and volunteer truckers.

Each wreath is $15.

For every two wreaths that are ordered, the group will receive an additional one to be placed on a veteran’s grave.

In addition, Wreaths Across America donates seven Ceremonial Wreaths. Each of these honors and represents the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp, Coast Guard, Merchant Marine and Prisoners of War. These will be placed near the cemetery signs in all three cemeteries by a veteran during the special dedication ceremony on Dec. 13.

When you donate you may choose from several options: You may specify the veteran on whose grave you would like the wreath placed, or sponsor “in honor of” or “in memory of” a veteran. You may also choose to let the BTAC group decide where your wreath will be placed. If you have questions about sponsoring wreaths, how to obtain a sponsorship form, or wish to volunteer, please call Georganna Monk (Local Location Leader) at 231-883-9867. Sponsorship forms are available to download on the Bay Township website:

www.charlevoixcounty.org/govern0283.asp , or in the red box at the kiosk in front of the Bay Township hall.

Placing a wreath on a specific gravesite can only be arranged by notifying the Location Leader. If you mail a sponsorship form directly to WAA it must be postmarked by Nov. 28.

Sponsorship checks must be made out to WAA – NOT to the BTAC group.

To sponsor a wreath online, go to www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org , click on “Sponsor Locally” and type the group’s ID MI0057 in the “Find a Fundraising Group” box and hit Search. Click on ‘’Bay Township Area Cemeteries” where you can read information about BTAC and also sponsor a wreath by clicking “Support MI0057-Bay Township Area Cemeteries.”

The deadline to submit a sponsorship online is Dec. 1.

If the goal is reached, the remaining wreath sponsorships will be applied to 2015.

All sponsorships are sent directly to the location and no wreaths are sent to the individuals purchasing sponsorships.

The Bay Township group has already been making preparations for this special event, and have placed four foot stakes at the gravesites which will serve to anchor the wreaths and allow them to be visible in the snow hopefully until spring.

Assisted by local veterans’ organizations, local historians, and the support local residents, a preliminary list of veterans was established at the onset of this endeavor.

Since that time, more names have been added to this compilation- the results of which will eventually be contained within a tribute booklet.

To assist with this goal, the “Bay Township Veterans Remembered” Virtual Cemetery was created on the Find A Grave website by local historian, Patrick McCleary as a means of easy reference to information about each veteran.

Anyone can go to this site at www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=vcsr&GSvcid=529665

The purpose of this project is to document and detail the lives of the US veterans who are interred in Bay Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan. Please contact the group leader Georganna Monk (231) 883-9867 or Patrick McCleary 348-8255 if you can contribute pictures and any other information about the veterans in Bay Township. All contributions are fully credited to the contributor.

Dec. 13, has been declared National Wreaths Across America Day! Everyone is invited to attend the special wreath laying ceremony at Dyer Cemetery on Saturday Dec. 13, at 11:45 a.m..

At noon, a moment of silence will be held across the entire nation. At this time the seven ceremonial wreaths will be placed and then the wreaths will be placed at the graves of the veterans throughout the three cemeteries.

The Boyne City American Legion Ernest Peterson Post 228 and VFW Post 3675 will be participating at this ceremony. This will be a very special opportunity to honor these Bay Township veterans by placing a wreath that will mark their grave until the following Spring. Bay Township is proud to be the first township in Charlevoix County to participate in Wreaths Across America!