Bay Township to lay Christmas wreaths on veteran graves

The Bay Township Area Cemeteries group is proud to be an official location for Wreaths Across America again in 2016! In 2014, the Bay Township Cemetery Committee teamed up with the Horton Bay United Methodist Church to form the BTAC group.

A nonprofit organization, Wreaths Across America (WAA) continues the Arlington tradition as part of its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach.

In 2015, WAA and their national network of volunteers and groups laid over 1,000,000 memorial wreaths at over 1,100 locations in all 50 States, with ceremonies at sea, and at each of the national cemeteries on foreign soil!

Beginning with Bay Township’s first year to participate their goal was achieved of placing a wreath on the grave of every veteran in the 3 cemeteries:  Oaklawn Cemetery on Horton Bay Rd. North, Dyer Cemetery on Camp Daggett, & North Bay Cemetery on Church Road and they plan to do the same in 2016.

Currently, 45 veterans have been identified buried in the 3 cemeteries in Bay Township.

Please plan to attend the Ceremony which begins at Dyer Cemetery on Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 11:45 (Sharp).

You do not have to be a wreath sponsor to attend this ceremony. “Say Their Names” is the National Wreaths Across America Day Theme for 2016.

At Noon (EST) a moment of silence will be held across the entire nation.

Following a short ceremony, the wreaths will be placed on the graves of the veterans throughout the 3 cemeteries.

The Boyne City American Legion Ernest Peterson Post 228, as well as local area veterans, will be assisting with this ceremony.

For every 2 wreaths that are ordered, an additional one will be received to be placed on a veteran’s grave, in addition to the 7 Ceremonial Wreaths.

When you donate you can 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, or you may let the BTAC group decide where the wreath will be placed.

Please call Georganna Monk, Local Location Leader, at (231) 883-9867 if you have any questions about sponsoring wreaths, how to obtain a sponsorship form, or to volunteer.

Sponsorship forms are available to download on the Bay Township website (www.baytownshipmi.org) or in the red box at the kiosk in front of the township hall.

All mailed sponsorship checks must be made out to WAA – NOT to the BTAC group.

Deadline is Nov. 28, for 2016 sponsorships and if we surpass our goal, the remaining wreaths will be applied to our group’s 2017 count.

To sponsor a wreath online, go to the www.WreathsAcrossAmerica.org HOME page, click on the RED DONATE, Click on “Sponsor a wreath with a Local Fundraising Group” then type the group ID MI0057 in the SEARCH box.

Do not search by city, zip code or cemetery name.

A drop down box saying Bay Township Area Cemeteries will appear. Click on this, click on “donate” and you will then have options for sponsoring as many wreaths as you would like via credit card.

The Bay Township group has already been making preparations for this special event, and will again place stakes at the gravesites which will serve to anchor the wreaths and allow them to be visible in the snow 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 in 2014.

Since that time, more names have been added to the 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 an easy reference to information about each veteran. Anyone can access this website.

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 BTAC group leader Georganna Monk or Patrick McCleary (231) 348-8255 if you can contribute pictures or any other information about the Bay Township veterans.

All contributions will be fully credited to the contributor.

An updated list of the veterans can be found on the Bay Township website: www.baytownshipmi.org.