09/28/13 — Pikeville Legion seeking donations for tribute

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Pikeville Legion seeking donations for tribute

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 28, 2013 10:34 PM

PIKEVILLE -- Christmas is still three months away, but American Legion Post 541 members are hopeful that area residents will get into the spirit of the season early and help them pay tribute to deceased veterans.

The post is participating in the Wreaths Across America program that will place wreaths on veterans' graves in December.

The post's goal is have enough wreaths to place one on each of the veterans' graves in the Pikeville Cemetery.

The live wreaths cost $15 each.

"If you sponsor two wreaths, we get a third wreath free of charge," post Commander James Carter said. "Each wreath that we get is going to the cemetery on the graves of 116 veterans before Christmas. It is a Christmas wreath to honor veterans. I have everything lined up.

"It is a nationwide thing. It started up in Washington, D.C. They give us free seven wreaths, and each one of those wreaths represents a branch of the service. It is a big wreath, about the size of a car tire. Each one has the (branch of service's) embalm in the middle. It is a green wreath and has a big red ribbon on it."

For every wreath sold, the post also will receive $5.

The post can use that money to purchase other wreaths, or use it for other post projects, he said.

The post is trying to get as many sponsorships as possible, and Carter hopes to complete the ordering by mid-November.

Carter said he has been told by the national Wreaths Across America office that many times goals are not reached in the first year since it takes time to get the word out.

However, Carter said he is hopeful that the post will be able to sell enough for each of the 116 veterans' graves.

"Say if we get 200 wreaths this year, we don't have a spot for 200," he said. "So we would take what we need and put on those graves. Then we would put the others on veterans' graves wherever.

"I know that there are over a thousand at Wayne Memorial Park. It would be awesome to go out there at Christmas time and see nothing, but wreaths out there on veterans graves."

People should call Carter at 919-735-4464 for more information, or to place an order.