Post 515 announces 2019 Wreaths Across America cemeteries
Wreaths Across America (WAA) is observed the second or third Saturday in December annually across the United States and 24 foreign countries. This year it will be observed December 14, 2019 at national cemeteries. The local ceremony will be 12:00 to 1:00 PM at the C. E. Weir Center for Veterans of Coffee County. Refreshments will be served, so come early, have a snack and help honor those who gave so much.
The national goal is to place a wreath on every veterans’ grave in national cemeteries. The goal of American Legion Post 515 is to place flags and wreaths on every veteran’s grave of Coffee County. The mission is to remember the veterans who fought and, in some cases, died for the freedoms we have today – honor those veterans currently serving to preserve the freedom we have and their families – teach the young about the freedoms we have and sacrifices made for those freedoms. “We thank those who gave so generously last year and ask for their support this year and the future,” stated WAA Coordinator for Coffee County, Jerome Loving. He may be contacted at 912-592-6413 for questions and information regarding WAA in Coffee County.
To make Wreaths Across America a reality for veterans of Coffee County, we desperately need the support and assistance of family members and friends of veterans buried in and around Douglas and Coffee County, churches, banks, businesses, volunteers and other organizations. We need wreath sponsors, donations, assistance with fundraising; placing and removing flags and wreaths, etc. Wreaths cost $15.00 each and flags vary, so please sponsor at least one Veterans' wreath, if not an entire cemetery. We plan to places flags on Veterans Graves the week of December 7th, but by December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day and Memorial Day each year. Wreaths are to be placed on Veterans graves upon arrival from WAA National, normally a day of two before the scheduled ceremony date in December.
“We hope to eventually place one on every Veteran's grave of Coffee County. This year's slogan is ‘Everyone Plays a Part’ and it takes everyone's support, especially family members and friends of deceased veterans, to make this a reality,” stated Post 515 Commander Alfalene Walker.
“We have 74 cemeteries and over 2,700 veterans graves identified to place flags and wreaths on in 2019. We request family members of veterans ensure their loved one's grave are marked with a military marker, so we don't miss any graves. Google VA FORM 40-1330 to request a military marker if a grave is not marked. An application and instructions are there regarding military markers. Additionally, family members can assist with placing flags and wreaths to ensure their veteran is not missed. Wreaths and flags will be placed on sponsored graves, then non-sponsored graves as long as they last. We are a No-profit 501- C organization; therefore, to be sure every deceased veteran of Coffee County gets a flag and wreath, someone must sponsor them or money must be raised somehow. We don't want to place a flag and wreath on one veteran's grave in a cemetery and don't do all. So, if we miss veteran in a sponsored cemetery, just call me and I'll make sure it's taken care of,” Loving.
The following are the cities with cemeteries chosen for this year and the number of known veterans buried in each cemetery in parentheses. It will be helpful and appreciated if family members of veterans buried in each cemetery and / or cemetery managers contact Jerome Loving to assist with this project.
DOUGLAS: Douglas City (800); Upton Cemetery (22); Salem Church Cemetery (63); Bethel Church Cemetery (11); Satilla Memorial Gardens (139); Oak Grove /Cross Roads (41); Paulk (5); St. James – Paulk (17); Carver Baptist Church (47); Royal (39); St. Andrews Episcopal (1); Vickers Rural (20); Franklin Holiness Baptist Church (14); Rocky Pond (23); Grantham (15) and Stokes Church (23). BROXTON: Broxton City (909); Reedy Branch (139); Lone Hill Methodist Church (64); New Providence (6); New Corinth (6); Oak Grove #4 (20); Benjamin Chapel (4); Pridgen Baptist (50) New Bethel (1) and Taylor (1). AMBROSE: New Hope Baptist Church (62); Bethany (49); Deberry Baptist (27); New Salem (22); Harper (2); Mt. Union (5); Griffin (20); St. Illa (11); Sunny Side Holiness (19); Elem Harper (17); Vickers Chapel (9); Purvis (13) and Hebron Church (46). NICHOLLS: Nicholls City (40); Meeks (52); Hall (45); Moore – Lee (36); Roberts (27); Chatterton Church (47); Saginaw (5); Little Lake Geneva (2). WEST GREEN: Burkett (45); Sand Hill (31); Central Baptist (27); Calvary Holiness (8); Oak Grove #2 (18); Oak Park #3 (1). SATILLA: Wayfare (4); Harrell Grove Church (40); Tanner (45); Old Jowers Chapel (7). JACKSONVILLE, GA: Clark (15); Wilcox (12); Rock Hill (33); Graham #1 (22); Wesley Chapel (20); Graham #2 (3); Jacksonville City (12); Blockhouse (50); Clemons (7) and Mt. Carmel (3). LAX: Union Primitive Baptist Church (20). MORA: Mora Baptist Church (18). WRAY: Wray Holiness (6). McRAE: McRae City (3). PEARSON: Sweetwater (105); Mt. Pleasant (32) and Harmony Grove Church (9). If someone wants to add another cemetery, they should contact Jerome Loving and be prepared to help sponsor, place and remove flags and wreaths.
Several of our major cemeteries are in desperate need of donations. They are as follows: Douglas City, Broxton City, Reedy Branch in Broxton, Lone Hill in West Green, Satilla Memorial on Hwy 441 South and Sweetwater in Pearson. We are expecting donations from the smaller cemeteries to come in very soon, bur at this point we are approximately $12,000 short of our goal of $43,000. All donations are tax deductible and due to Post 515 by November 15, 2019; however, we ask sponsors to send their donations as soon as possible. Several members of American Legion Post 515 and local volunteers are cemetery coordinators for this project. You may contact Jerome Loving for their contact information.