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Wreaths Across America needs donations for 2020 efforts

Wreaths Across America for Camp Nelson National Cemetery recently announced the kick-off of their 2020 wreath campaign, highlighted with a visit by the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit, a large truck-mounted display unit. 

“As we continue our work of Remember, Honor, Teach in 2020, we are very pleased to welcome the MEE to its first visit to Kentucky,” according to a press release from Wreaths Across America.

The MEE will visit Lexington and Lawrenceburg for four days, from Tuesday, Sept. 8, through Friday, Sept. 11.

Wreaths Across America for Camp Nelson National Cemetery, the V.E.T.S. Charitable Corp. and American Legion Post 34 Auxiliary will be hosting the MEE, which is a 60-foot trailer with multiple video and static displays telling the story of Wreaths Across America.

The MEE has an interior movie theater that seats 10 with social distancing, inside and outside visual videos highlighting WAA’s expansion and other programs designed to follow the growth of the WAA mission.

In addition, there are touch-screen modules to allow guests to sponsor a wreath and search for participating cemeteries and a trucking-specific volunteer website to sign up to haul wreaths to more than 2000 locations.

Knowledgeable staff will present information on WAA.

The visit schedule is as follows:

— Tuesday Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Lawrenceburg Walmart;

— Wednesday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lexington, Southland Christian Church (Richmond Road);

— Thursday, Sept. 10, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Lexington, Cabela’s in Hamburg; and

— Friday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Lawrenceburg American Legion Grounds/Healing Field.

These events are open to the public with social distancing, sanitation and COVID-19 safety procedures in place to protect the health of all visitors.

Masks are mandatory for those visiting the MEE. You can learn more at www.facebook.com/kycnnc or on Instagram: wreathscampnelson.

National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, Dec. 19.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some procedures at Camp Nelson National Cemetery will be different this year.

“The final decision on how we honor our veterans by placing wreaths will not be determined until later in the year, but we are already anticipating that the ceremony on WAA Day will be private and not open to the public,” according to the release. “We hope to have live streaming. All decisions will be guided by National Cemetery Administration policy statements. We encourage you to visit our website and Facebook page for up-to-date information.”

In 2019, there were more than 10,000 wreaths sponsored for Camp Nelson. The goal in 2020 was to cover every one of Camp Nelson’s 16,000 graves. However, because the pandemic, this is not the year for that to happen, according to the release.

“But every cloud has a silver lining,” according to the release. “We will honor all our veterans this year with a meaningful ceremony, and all wreaths that are sponsored this year but cannot be actually placed on graves will be rolled over as a credit toward our 2021 goal.

“We hope that community groups, youth organizations, civic groups and businesses will come forward and help us get to our new 2020 goal of 7,500 wreaths – 500 to be placed this year (if possible) and the remainder to be rolled over to give us a head start on 2021.”

To donate, visit www.WreathsCampNelson.org or www.Facebook.com/KYCNNC.

The last day to sponsor a wreath online is Nov. 30; to sponsor by check is Nov. 23.

“Everyone is part of the Wreaths Across America mission to ‘Remember, Honor, Teach.’ Together we are all part of the Wreaths Across America family and no donation is too small when it comes to honoring our veterans and their families”, said Ann Hamlin, local coordinator for the Camp Nelson Wreaths Across America group.