Veterans across the North Shore were honored Saturday as a part of the nationwide Wreaths Across America Day. More than one thousand wreaths were laid on the graves of Veterans who served the U.S across multiple cemeteries and communities in Lynn, Swampscott, Marblehead and Saugus.
Marblehead held its first event with Wreaths Across America, and it was a huge success.
The town sponsored a total of 679 wreaths to be laid on veterans’ graves, including ceremonial wreaths, at Waterside Cemetery. Presenters from each military branch participated in the event as well as Marblehead Chief of Fire Department Jason Gilliland and Chief of Police Dennis King.
The event also featured a cannon salute from the town’s Veterans agent Dave Rodgers and a rifle salute from members of Glover’s Regiment.
Marblehead Emergency 911 Dispatcher Teresa Collins has been an avid supporter of veterans causes, and was happy to see the community come together to honor those who have served.
“I was just thrilled to have all of them there working in unison and just the way the community came together and supported it from the beginning in sponsoring wreaths to make it a successful event, and how smooth and efficiently the event itself went,” said Collins.
With this being the first time that the town has participated in the event, Collins was ecstatic with the level of support they received. She said that those who had veteran family members were honored by the ceremony and that the event will continue to grow.
“I would have been happy with 179 (wreaths), that would have covered the veterans lot, but there was three times as much,” she said. “The folks who were involved were thrilled to have their loved ones remembered and I’m sure we will get a lot more publicity and support in the years forward.”
Following the ceremony at Waterside, members of the regiment made their way to Old Burial Hill where they did a salute and placed wreaths on the graves of General Glover, and Joseph Brown, an African-American Marbleheader who was a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Collins commented on the wreath laying at Old Burial Hill, stating the importance of remembering where the U.S. military first started, and remembering those involved.
“We are going back to the roots of America, and the concept of freedom, and the mission for Wreaths Across America is Remember, Honor, Teach,” said Collins.