Remembering veterans during the holidays
Northwoods community gathers at National Cemetery
By Eileen Persike
HARSHAW – Wreaths Across America honored more than three million veterans Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023, at over 4,225 locations around the country. Included was the Northwoods National Cemetery in Harshaw, where volunteers and family members participated in a wreath-laying ceremony.
Master of Ceremonies for the Northwoods program was Sgt. 1st Class Craig Lau – Ret. Army. Representatives of all branches of the military and POW/MIA were on hand for the ceremony. Keynote speaker Lt. Col. Bryon Gleisner’s (Ret.-Air Force) address followed the 2023 WAA theme, “Serve and Succeed.”
The organization’s mission is to “Remember the fallen, Honor those who serve, and Teach the next generation the value of freedom.” Wreaths are used, according to wreathsacrossamerica.org, to symbolize honor and a living tribute renewed annually.
“Wreaths Across America believes the tradition represents a living memorial that honors veterans, active-duty military, and their families” the organization states. “When volunteers say the name of a veteran aloud while placing a wreath, it ensures they live on in our hearts and memories and are always remembered.”
The Northwoods event was sponsored by the American Legion Riders, District 11, and Veterans Ceremony-U.G.C., Inc.
Northwoods National Cemetery is the fourth Rural Initiative cemetery to be built by the VA’s National Cemetery Administration. The VA purchased the land in September 2015 and awarded a contract to build the cemetery in August 2017. The cemetery was dedicated in August 2020 and serves veterans within 75 miles of Rhinelander.