Wreaths Across America conducts Peninsula event

Long Beach Peninsula participants in National Wreaths Across America (WAA) day gathered at Veterans Field Flag Pavilion in Long Beach in 2017.

“Remember, Honor, Teach” is the theme of a program being highlighted on the Long Beach Peninsula this month.

The concept is part of a program called Wreaths Across America, which seeks to honor veterans while offering education about the sacrifices of American servicemen and women.

The event is coordinated on the Long Beach Peninsula by members of the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 2362 and Women of the Moose Chapter 1930.

Long Beach Members of the Don R. Grable American Legion Post No. 48 in Ilwaco, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla No. 62, Mayor Jerry Phillips and members of the Long Beach City Council are among those supporting the program.

Local organizer Sandra Edwards of Ocean Park said it is important to ensure that the memory of those who served the country endures.

“I think we are reaching a time where a lot of people younger than me don’t have any direct connection with people who have served,” she said.

“And this is a way, I believe, to reconnect people with what sacrifices other people have made, giving up years of their lives to serve.”

At 9 a.m. Dec. 14, there will be a wreath-laying ceremony at the Veterans’ Field flag pavilion, 111 Third St. S.E., in downtown Long Beach. The event coincides with about 2,000 similar programs across the nation.

A second wreath laying will take place immediately following at Taylor’s Ocean Park Cemetery at 10 a.m. that day. The cemetery at 2118 26th Ave., in Ocean Park has 186 veterans’ graves, including at least one from the Civil War and a woman who served in World War II with the Women’s Army Corps (WAC).

Edwards, who has been involved with the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as the Moose, has played a leading role with the program for six years.

Her family has a broad military heritage. Her husband, Steve Edwards, served six years in the U.S. Army, her first cousin was a U.S. Navy nurse who was killed in World War II, another cousin died in Vietnam, and her father-in-law retired as a chief master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.

At the Long Beach ceremony, the Army, Navy, Air Force, U.S. Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine services will be honored. Immediately after that ceremony, supporters will drive to Ocean Park where service branch wreaths will be placed along the fenceline, as well as wreaths on individual graves.

To sponsor a wreath, log on to www.wreathsacrossamerica.org/WA0027.

As the event neared, Edwards had commitments for more than 200 wreaths. If any remain afterward, they will go to the Ilwaco area and Surfside memorials, she said.

For additional information, email Edwards at huskycart2126@hotmail.com.

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