Medina sees growing participation for Wreaths Across America
MEDINA – There was no mistaking Kathy Blackburn’s delight at the turnout in Boxwood Cemetery Saturday noon for the Wreaths Across America program.
Blackburn has been organizing the event each year since it was started in Medina with seven wreaths in 2013, and this year’s count was 261.
“I can’t tell you how pleased I am,” Blackburn said. “I’m amazed at the people who joined in and got their kids involved. I could cry now.”
Blackburn thanked the American Legion, VFW and volunteers who supported the effort, especially the many Scout troops which showed up to place the wreaths on graves.
Several local officials took part in the ceremony, including Medina Mayor Mike Sidari and Assemblyman Steve Hawley. Each of them placed one of the first seven wreaths, which were in honor of a veteran from each branch of the military and a grave representing a POW/MIA.
Dave Kusmierczak read an opening prayer. He said the freedoms we enjoy today did not come without a price.
“The men and women here died so we could enjoy our freedoms,” he said.
Blackburn followed with words of thanks and patriotism.
“We are here today to say ‘thank you,’” she said. “When you see a veteran or member of the Armed Forces, say thank you.”
After the Honor Guard issued a three-gun salute and playing of Taps, volunteers began placing the remaining wreaths on graves throughout the cemetery.