This year is our second year of placing wreaths at veterans’ graves at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery, 7900 E Main St. in Mesa.
We are selling wreaths for $15 each. Wreaths Across America will donate $5 of every sale back to us and we will use the monies to help veterans in our community.
If you purchase 100 wreaths, your name will be mentioned on our program. So far, we have had Crescent Crown Distributing and Gambrinus, & Hensley Beverage Co. Guild Mortgage Co. has been our $5,000 sponsor two years in a row. They will be getting a national recognition from Wreaths Across America.
At this time, we need to sell 1,000 more wreaths to make sure every veteran has a wreath on their grave. The Military Order of the Purple Heart Chapter 2560 will be coordinating with other organizations to sell and place wreaths on all veteran grave sites at Mountain View Cemetery. Other organizations that have joined are VFW and VFW Auxiliary Post No. 7968; Ex-POW East Valley Chapter; SanTan Valley Veterans Center and there will be more joining to sell the wreaths.
Anyone interested in sponsoring wreaths can purchase directly from any of the organizations listed above or they can directly purchase it online from MOPH Chapter No. 2560 at the website wreathsacrossamerica.org/AZ0190P or contact Nancy Fassbender at 520-280-4715 to mail in your sponsorship.
For those who are doing online, it is important that you place the complete website including the /AZ0190P in order that the $5 will come back into our community.
Those who are interested in volunteering placing the wreaths, the date will be Dec. 17, 2022. Please register by calling Nancy Fassbender.
In August I was honored with a trip to Columbia Falls to visit Wreaths Across America. Morrill Worcester founded this company to make sure all the Veterans who are interred in cemeteries across the nation be honored by laying wreaths in December.
We toured the warehouse where they make the wreaths. Would you believe that they start 52 days before it is time to ship wreaths across the nation and they make 90,000 wreaths a day. That is correct, 90,000 wreaths a day. They hire the locals to come in and work. Then over 600 semis are loaded up and the boxes are transported to the different cemeteries who are participating. Right now, there are 3,400 cemeteries which they ship to.
The most memorable experience over the weekend was the “Remembrance Tag placing” Each of us chose a few veterans who we either knew or knew the families and we went out to a field of evergreens and placed their dog tag on the tree. We would place a red ribbon on the tree so that the workers knew that there was a dog tag in the tree.
We then would say their names, hang the dog tag and honor them. When the wind comes up thru the trees, the dog tags tinkle like chimes and it is such a nice sound.
Editor’s note: Gold Canyon resident Nancy Fassbender is a board member of the Pinal County Veterans Memorial Foundation and the author of “My Fallen Hero.”