Wreaths Across America returns to Owensboro, honors the fallen

November 6, 2021 | 12:08 am

Updated November 5, 2021 | 11:28 pm

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The national nonprofit Wreaths Across America will grace cemeteries in Owensboro once again, providing wreaths for the gravesites of fallen soldiers. The concept is the brainchild of Morrill Worcester, who in 1992 donated his excess wreaths to Arlington National Cemetary.

Worcester, owner of Worcester Wreath Company, continued the project for many years, experiencing exponential growth in 2005 when a photo of the wreaths on a snowy afternoon went viral.

Daviess County Clerk Leslie McCarty has been assisting with the event locally for several years, assuming the role of organizer this season. 

“I’ve been involved with helping veterans for a long time, and we wanted to do something to honor the fallen,” McCarty said. “I have friends that lost their sons in battle and one friend that has a son in active duty; I want to give back to them and express my gratitude for those that went before us to protect our freedoms.”

McCarty’s friends Sarah Taylor, Cathy Mullins, and Vickie Johnson are Gold Star Mothers — meaning their sons died while on active duty. Donna Conley is a Blue Star Mother whose son is presently serving. They all donate their time to the cause. 

“My friends are the best, and they are always giving back to the community,” McCarty said. “I owe a lot to them. I can’t fathom what it’s like to lose a child.” 

Robert Brooks originally coordinated Wreaths Across America at the local level before passing the torch off to McCarty. Organizers canceled the event last year due to the pandemic, but McCarty and company continued to honor fallen veterans by collecting flowers and placing them on gravesites. 

While several cemeteries in surrounding areas will participate in the year’s festivities, the two local cemeteries are Ressurection and Owensboro Memorial Gardens. Memorial Gardens will host a ceremony at noon on Dec.18 before placing each of the wreaths. 

To donate, visit the Wreaths Across America website. Wreaths cost $15. For more information, contact McCarty via email at [email protected]

November 6, 2021 | 12:08 am

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