Wreaths were placed at 350 veteran graves
PASO ROBLES — The El Paso de Robles Chapter, National Society Daughters of America (NSDAR), and the Templeton American Legion Post #220 paid tribute this holiday season to 350 Veterans buried at the Templeton Cemetery.
This was the chapter’s third year working with the legion in raising funds for the purchase of the wreaths. Volunteers with the NSDAR and the Templeton Legion gathered around the flag pole, located at the center of the Templeton Cemetery District, at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 18, to participate in the annual Wreaths Across America (WAA) Day.
Members from the El Paso de Robles Chapter, NSDAR were Lisa Wood Regent, Lida Lucas, Diana Brenna, Linda Wood, Teresa Terry, Susan Howard, Lori Mansfield, Denise Carlson, Susan Clark, and her husband, Mike Clark.
Templeton American Legion Post #220 opened the ceremony with their color guard, and El Paso de Robles Chapter president Lisa Wood led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance. A prayer was read, and a bugler played taps, the tune we all know for its role in military funeral ceremonies.
Wood addressed the volunteers saying, “Remember, we are not here today to “decorate graves.” We are here to remember not their deaths, but their lives. Each wreath is a gift of appreciation from a grateful America.”
WAA coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at more than 2,500 locations across the United States, at sea, and abroad.
WAA is committed to teaching younger generations about the value of their freedoms and the importance of honoring those who sacrificed so much to protect those freedoms. The organization offers learning tools, interactive media projects, and opportunities for youth groups to participate in the events. They also work to create opportunities to connect “the Greatest Generation” with the “Generation of Hope,” passing on inspirational stories from World War II veterans to the leaders of the future.
Christmas wreaths were purchased with the help of many local sponsors. Each one was placed at 350 marked and unmarked veteran graves at the Templeton Cemetery. Before placing the wreath, volunteers read allowed the veteran’s name, noted the war they served in, and regiment if it was available.
Wreaths were laid on veteran graves from World War I, World War II, Korean War, and more. Some of them made it back home after their war, and others didn’t. Many of the veterans were men, as expected. But some wreaths were laid on the graves of veteran women, including Clair Smith, a WWII Private First Class Infantry, and Ethel Caldwell, a WWI Army Second Luitenant, among others.
Donations for the wreaths were received from The Blueprinter in Paso Robles, A-Plus Fire Protection, Inc. of Paso Robles, Shiloh Bookkeeping Tax Company in Shandon, along with donations from families throughout the community.
Wood said, “Our Chapter is very honored to be a part of Wreath Across America in honoring these Men and Women that bravely served our Country and for some gave their lives.”
For more information on Wreaths Across America, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org
For more information on the Templeton American Legion Post #220, visit amerlegnpost220.noip.us
The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpolitical women’s service organization with more than one million members who have joined the organization since its founding in 1890. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot of the American Revolution is eligible for membership. DAR members passionately carry out the timeless mission of promoting historic preservation, education, and patriotism. For more information, visit elpasoderobles.californiadar.org.