Public invited Saturday to lay wreaths at Shiloh National Cemetery
Shiloh National Military Park is participating in the national Wreaths Across America day on Saturday, Dec. 17.
“The laying of wreaths on the graves of honored dead has been done since the time of ancient Greece,” said park Superintendent Allen Etheridge. “The circular shape of the wreath represents eternity, for it has no beginning and no end, and the greenery represents everlasting life. Laying a wreath is an act of remembrance for someone’s life and service, and we invite everyone to come and help place the wreaths.”
The event begins at 11 a.m. with a short patriotic ceremony at Shiloh National Cemetery. Following the ceremony, all attendees will be invited to come forward and assist with laying the wreaths on the graves.
At noon, Ranger Timothy Arnold will lead a tour of the cemetery. Participants can hear stories of some of the people buried there, including the first officer to fall in the battle of Shiloh, and the only two Confederates interred in the cemetery. The tour is free and no registration is required.
Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded by Morrill Worcester of Harrington, Maine. At the age of 12, he visited Arlington National Cemetery. Decades later, in 1992, Worcester sent his company’s surplus of 5,000 wreaths to be placed at Arlington, and he continued sending wreaths every year.
The event has now expanded to the placement of over 1.2 million wreaths in over 1,400 locations across the nation.