Help honor heroes with ‘Wreaths Across America’ ceremonies, including a first for St. George Cemetery

Emma Connor, age 2, carries a Christmas wreath to place on the grave of a veteran at Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, Utah, Dec. 17, 2016 | File photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Residents of Southern Utah are invited to join the Color Country Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution on Saturday in showing appreciation to our nation’s soldiers for their service and honoring their ultimate sacrifice at ceremonies for National Wreaths Across America day, including a first for Southern Utah: a ceremony at the St. George City Cemetery in addition to the Tonaquint and Shivwits cemeteries.

Members of the Air Force junior ROTC carry Christmas wreaths to honor military veterans during the Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, Utah, Dec. 16, 2017 | File photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Beginning at Arlington National Cemetery and continuing at over 1,400 locations in all 50 states, at sea and abroad, Americans will come together to honor their fallen heroes by reciting their names at their grave sites and placing thousands of wreaths as symbols that they will never forget.

The first ceremony in Southern Utah will begin at 10 a.m. at Tonaquint Cemetery led by Tom Cover of the Utah Dixie Detachment 1270 Marine Corps League and will feature guest speaker and Gold Star father Jerome Gourley.

They will be joined by the Dixie High School band playing patriotic tunes and a special rendition of the national anthem by the 12-year-old daughter of a St. George Police officer recommended by St. George Mayor Jon Pike.

Once the laying of wreaths and the ceremony at Tonaquint is complete, members of the St. George Police department and the Patriot Guard riders will lead a procession to the historic St. George Cemetery where, for the first time ever, over 1,100 veterans will be honored and have wreaths placed with reverence at their graves.

More private ceremonies will be held later in the afternoon at Ivins, Santa Clara and the Shivwits Band of Paiutes cemeteries.

Valerie King, regent for Color Country Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution said in a press release she was grateful to the many private and corporate sponsors like Zion Harley Davidson who embraced their mission and enabled them to honor so many veterans this year.

Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Shivwits Band of Paiutes Cemetery, Shivwits, Utah, Dec. 12, 2015 | File photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

New corporate sponsors this year include all four regional locations of Walmart, who collectively sponsored 350 wreaths; the Wells Fargo Foundation, who sponsored 250 wreaths; and Nielson RV, who sponsored all the wreaths to be placed at the Shivwits cemetery.

“It is going to be an amazing day of celebration as we remember the fallen, honor those who have served and teach the children the value of freedom,” King said.

Volunteers and sponsors are always needed and more information can be found by contacting Valerie King at colorcountrychapter@gmail.com or 435-703-9560.

Event details

  • What: Wreaths Across America wreath-laying ceremony.
  • When: Saturday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m.
  • Where: Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 S. Dixie Drive, St. George.
  • Who: Wreaths Across America

Email: apinckney@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews | @andrewjpinckney

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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