Chilly temperatures and several inches of snow from the recent Nor’easter did nothing to deter the volunteers who participated in Passaic County Technical and Vocational School District’s (PCTVS) ‘Wreaths Across America’ event on December 19. After a successful fall fundraising effort, the school district, comprised of Passaic County Technical Institute and Diana C. Lobosco STEM Academy, successfully sponsored an incredible 1,935 wreaths to be placed on the graves of fallen service-members interred at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa.
Similar scenes played out in Arlington National Cemetery and more than 2,500 sites nationwide this week as part of ‘Wreaths Across America.’ The charitable organization’s mission: to place wreaths on the graves of as many veterans as possible. Wreaths Across America, a non-profit organization, began in 1992 in Harrington, Maine, when the Worcester Wreath Company sought to turn a surplus of 5,000 holiday wreaths into an opportunity to pay tribute to our country’s fallen service-members. With the help of then Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, the company’s owner, Morrill Worcester, arranged for the surplus wreaths to be placed at Arlington National Cemetery as a tribute to our country’s veterans. The tradition has continued on and over the last 28 years, the event has grown in scope, touching the lives of thousands of veterans’ families and volunteers. Last year, Wreaths Across America and its national network of volunteers placed nearly 1.8 million veterans’ wreaths at 2,100 locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
While pandemic precautions required some adjustments to the event this year, the spirit of the ceremony remained strong. PCTVS Chief School Administrator Diana C. Lobosco said, “In a year that has been one our country’s most challenging in recent history, we are incredibly grateful that we were able to honor our commitment to remember the fallen, honor those that serve and their families, and teach the next generation the value of freedom.”