Groups placing wreaths on veterans' graves need donations

An image from the 2012 ceremony at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.
An image from the 2012 ceremony at Fort Jackson National Cemetery.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Several groups across the state who hold annual ceremonies to place wreaths on every veteran gravesite in South Carolina are hoping your donations will help them reach their goals.

On December 14, volunteers will gather at cemeteries to hold solemn ceremonies honoring those who served in the armed forces. As part of the ceremony, they hope to honor each veteran with a wreath.

Those wreaths cost $15 each and many of the local groups do not yet have enough money or wreaths to make that happen.

Gary Sowell says he has just $1,000 of the $8,000 he needs to honor each of the 500 veterans buried at the Kershaw City Cemetery.

"I'd sure appreciate all the help we can get," said Sowell. "I don't think there's anything we can spend that will scratch the surface of doing what those people have done for us."

Sowell says each year since 2010, JROTC cadets and cadets from Camden Military Academy have helped lay the wreaths. He also invites a color guard, a bugler to play "Taps" and a pastor to give an invocation on "National Wreaths Across America Day." More than one hundred people, including families of the veterans buried there, attend the event.

"I just think that the veterans that have served this great nation deserve anything we can do in our power to do for them," said Sowell.

Similar ceremonies in the Midlands will take place at Fort Jackson National Cemetery, Sumter Cemetery and the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center at Fort Jackson.

As of this report, Fort Jackson National Cemetery has reached 92% of its goal. The other Midlands locations are far from having enough wreaths or funds to honor all of their fallen veterans.

Click these links if you'd like to purchase a wreath or donate money:

Fort Jackson National Cemetery

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