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Wreaths Across America will still go on; here's how you can help recognize veterans buried in Lancaster County

Intelligencer Journal - 12/20/2020

Each December, volunteers with the nonprofit Wreaths Across America lay wreathes of remembrance on the graves of veterans at Arlington National Cemetery and more than 2,100 sites across the country.

COVID-19 almost stopped that tradition this year at the national cemetery. Locally, this year may bring fewer opportunities for volunteers, yet at Lancaster County’s sites and cemeteries, wreaths will be placed on thousands of veterans’ graves. Organizers will host ceremonies locally but some have been consolidated.

At Arlington last month, the cemetery canceled the event, announcing it “could not implement sufficient controls to mitigate the risks associated with hosting an event of this size under current and forecasted infection and transmission rates, while still conducting a respectful and honorable public event,” AP reported.

That decision was then reversed by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy.

In Lancaster County, there are several sites involved in the 2020 event. All sites are looking for sponsors for wreaths and some still need volunteers.

Silver Spring Cemetery will have a ceremony Saturday, Dec. 19 at 10 a.m.

These sites will have ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 19 at noon:

* Mount Tunnel Cemetery in Elizabethtown

* Mount Bethel Cemetery in Columbia

* Mt. Eden Evangelical Lutheran Church in Quarryville

* Quarryville Cemetery

The Pequea Valley Cemeteries group will have a virtual ceremony Saturday, Dec. 19 at noon on Facebook. The wreaths will be placed starting at 1 p.m.

The organizers of several local events have a core group of volunteers placing wreaths. They will have a combined ceremony Saturday, Dec. 19 at 2 p.m. at Laurel Hill Memorial Gardens in Columbia.

These sites include:

* Maytown Square

* Salunga Mennonite Cemetery

* Rohrerstown Cemetery/Lutheran and Reformed Cemetery

* Salunga Mennonite Cemetery

* Landisville Mennonite Cemetery

Fort Indiantown Gap will hold a virtual ceremony Saturday, Dec. 19 online at

For more information, visit

Here are scenes from last year, when volunteers placed more than 1,500 wreaths at Pequea Valley Cemeteries.


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Crédito: ERIN NEGLEY | Staff Writer