National Cemetary Adorned with Wreaths Across America

Autumn Gantz, senior; Coen Zerbe, junior; and Fiona Zerbe, freshman, place wreaths on graves at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

“Our school has been participating in Wreaths Across America since 2018. It is important for our students to realize the sacrifices that our veterans have made for us to live free. All of the students that have been a part of this mission have shown the utmost respect when we place the wreaths and remember their lives. It always is a humbling experience and many times during our involvement, people have stopped to talk to our groups and thank us for what we are doing to help honor the veterans,” said Rhonda Culbert, teacher and SADD adviser.

Wreaths Across America is an organization that honors veterans by placing a wreath on their graves for the holiday season. This organization does this so that every veteran is remembered during the holiday season. Pine Grove Area students in SADD and JROTC spend the fall fundraising at football games and other events so that Wreaths Across America can accomplish the goal of having a wreath on every grave. Students in SADD and JROTC then get the opportunity in December to place these wreaths on the graves at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery. Students who volunteer for Wreaths Across America place a wreath and say the name on the gravestone. This is used as a way to honor those who have fought for the United States of America. Many students are involved in Wreaths Across America because they think it is very important to honor those who have fought for freedom.

“The veterans risk everything for our safety and freedom. The least we could do as citizens of this country is honor them by placing a wreath on their grave. They deserve our appreciation and remembrance,” said Autumn Gantz, senior.

Pine Grove Area students have also participated in Wreaths Across America in other organizations such as Boy Scouts. One member, Connor Rada, freshman, said, “I like to go to honor those who served. It is a really nice event.”

Students have opportunities during the school week to also place a wreath on a family member’s grave. Lauren Wessner, junior, was able to place wreaths on the graves of two of her family members that are buried at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery.

“I really enjoyed it. I think it’s really sweet to do that for all of our veterans and it was nice to have my parents with me this year when placing our family wreaths. I know my mom was glad she could come with me and that I specifically could place the wreaths for our family members,” said Wessner, junior.