The seventh annual wreath laying ceremony at the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery in Dublin is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 14, at 1 p.m.
The United States Congress has designated the second Saturday in December as the official “Wreath Laying Day” across America – a day for family and community members to honor our fallen service men and women during the holiday season.
The Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery is one of three state veterans cemeteries operated by the Virginia Department of Veterans Services. The annual wreath laying is possible due to an ongoing partnership with the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery Volunteers.
The event starts with a musical interlude from 12:45 to 1 p.m. by the 29th Division Virginia Army National Guard Band. Following this will be the Entrance of the Wreaths, with the United Auto Workers Ride for Freedom Truck and UAW Local 2069 Motorcycle Escort.
LTC Jeff Perkins, USAR (Ret.), will serve as Master of Ceremonies. Colors will be presented by the Virginia State Police Color Guard and the Pledge of Allegiance will be led by the Roanoke Battalion USN Sea Cadet Corps.
Rev. Pam Philips, minister with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Blacksburg, will offer the invocation. The Virginia State Police Color Guard will post the Colors.
Dublin Mayor Benny Skeens will welcome the crowd, followed by guest speaker Steven J. Combs, Acting Commissioner, Virginia Department of Veterans Services.
This year’s ceremony includes the placement of 855 wreaths, made possible through the generosity of a number of individuals and organizations. Wreaths will be laid rain or shine, and attendees will have a chance to participate. Organizers ask that all please follow instructions as the ceremony moves to the burial sites.
The program will conclude with the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department Rifle Team; “Taps” by the 29th Division Virginia Army National Guard Band; and closing hymn “Amazing Grace” by bagpiper Andrew Shields Meeks. Refreshments will be provided following the official activities.
Please plan to arrive before the 1 p.m. start time, but note that if the forecast is calling for inclement weather, the program itself might be moved up to an earlier time in the day in order to get ahead of it. Call the cemetery office at 674-6893 or check the Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery Volunteers website at www.swvavcv.org.
The Southwest Virginia Veterans Cemetery is located at 5550 Bagging Plant Road. All are invited to be part of this event.