Wreaths Across America Event held at the Andersonville National Cemetery
Contact: Eric Leonard, 229 924-0343
Sunny skies greeted over one hundred participants to the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Andersonville National Cemetery on Saturday, December 11.
Robert "Chappy" Kelly, a chaplain with the Americus Police Department and a major in the Civil Air Patrol, led the annual ceremony, where wreaths were presented for each branch of the armed services, as well as Prisoners of War and those still listed as Missing in Action. A representative of the Sons of the American Revolution was also on hand to read a proclamation.
After the ceremony, Civil Air Patrol cadets, members of the Patriot Guard, and Boy Scouts from the Atlanta-area Troop 900 assisted in placing more than two hundred other wreaths donated by families, businesses, and organizations. Adorned with a red bow, the wreaths represent a nation's remembrance to those lost to battle and old age. Similar ceremonies occurred at National Cemeteries across the country.
Park Superintendent Brad Bennett stated, "It was heartening to see so many people – particularly children and youth – placing wreaths to honor the sacrifices of our nation's veterans. While this year's ceremony is over, there is still time to place wreaths in the cemetery during the holiday season."
Cemetery regulations allow Christmas wreaths and floral blankets not larger than 2 by 3 feet through January 20. Anyone interested in donating a wreath to be placed at Andersonville National Cemetery may contact their local florists and make arrangements to have them delivered to Andersonville National Historic Site, 496 Cemetery Road, Andersonville, GA 31711.
Andersonville National Historic Site is located ten miles south of Montezuma, Georgia, and ten miles north of Americus, Georgia on Highway 49.Park grounds, including Andersonville National Cemetery, open at 8:00 a.m. and the National Prisoner of War Museum opens at 8:30 a.m. The park, cemetery, and museum close at 5:00 p.m.For more information, call 229 924-0343 or visit on the web at www.nps.gov/ande
Did You Know?
A small number of Andersonville prisoners were able to grow crops such as beans and corn. Prisoner diaries and sketches mention this fact and a photograph taken in the summer of 1864 shows corn stalks growing near a shelter. Such an undertaking would require constant guard and demonstrates that prisoners knew they might be captives at Andersonville for quite some time.