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On the Cover
Local Blue Star Mothers
To Participate In
Wreaths Across America Event
On Saturday, December 16
By Lou Hunsinger Jr.
 

A special Christmastime salute to deceased veterans will take place this Saturday, December 16, when the Blue Star Mothers of America participate in a nationwide effort called “Wreaths Across America.” The local chapter, North Central Pennsylvania 12 Chapter, will also be participating and will hold its event at 10 a.m. at Wildwood Cemetery. As volunteers approach wildwood Cemetery they will be directed by the Army Reserves 327th Quarter Master Battalion through the cemetery to the Post 1 section.
Following the laying of the wreaths, there will be a ceremony in the Wildwood Cemetery Church at noon. The National Wreaths Across America Ceremony begins promptly at noon all across the United States and abroad at over 1,200 locations in all 50 states, at sea, and abroad. The purpose of the ceremony is to remember our fallen US veterans, honor those who serve and teach children the value of freedom. The National theme this year is “I’m an American. Yes, I am.” The inspiration for this year’s theme came from a song by Maine’s own singer/songwriter Rick Charette
“This is our second year partnering with Wreaths Across America at Wildwood Cemetery,” Jane Schramm, president of the local Blue Star Mothers Chapter, told Webb Weekly. “Last year we laid 235 wreaths on veterans final resting places, this year due to such a giving community, we are at over 400 wreaths!”
What is the background of “Wreaths Across America”?
In 2007, the Worcester family, along with veterans, and others who had helped with their annual Christmas wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America™, to continue and expand this effort, and support other groups around the country who wanted to do the same. This nonprofit organization continues the Arlington tradition as part of its mission to “Remember — Honor — Teach”.
In March 1942, during World War II, the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. organization was formed in the United States to provide support for mothers who had sons or daughters in active service in the war. The name came from the custom of families of servicemen hanging a banner called a Service Flag in a window of their homes. The Service Flag had a star for each family member in the military. A Blue Star represented living servicemen and women, and a Gold Star represented those who had lost their lives. Today that tradition lives on.
The North Central PA Chapter 12 of the Blue Star Mothers emerged from two mothers, Jackie Ceasar-Wherry and Jane Schramm, who had sons serving in the U.S. Air Force and felt that there were more mothers in the Williamsport and surrounding areas that could use the support of other military mothers. After reaching out to some other mothers who had children serving, the chapter was formed and chartered in March of 2015.
“We started out with just six mothers, and today our chapter has grown to over 30 members,” stated Schramm. “It’s an amazing and humbling opportunity to support our military, veterans, Gold Star families continually, and each other through various events and projects in which we participate.
“We welcome all who would like to join us on Saturday, December 16, at 10:00 a.m. at Wildwood Cemetery to come and lay a wreath on a veteran’s grave. This is open to the public!” continued Schramm. “During the laying of the wreaths, we encourage every volunteer who places a wreath on a veteran’s grave to say that veteran’s name aloud and take a moment to thank them for their service to our country. It’s a small act that goes a long way toward keeping the memory of our veterans alive.”
The Blue Star Mothers support each other and their children while promoting patriotism. Their organization focuses on their mission every single day and will never, ever, forsake our troops, our veterans or the families of our Fallen Heroes.
If you are the mother, stepmother, grandmother, foster mother or female legal guardian of children serving in the military, guard or reserves, or have children who are veterans and would like to know more about Blue Star Mothers, please go to www.bluestarmothers.org.
The North Central PA 12’s Facebook page is Blue Star Mothers of America Chapter 12; you can also email BSMAchapter12@yahoo.com, or call 570-772-4638.
The Blue Star Mothers’ meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the 2nd Thursday of each month at the Garrett Cochran American Legion Post 1, 3rd floor, 10 East Third St., Williamsport.


 

 

 
 
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