FAIR LAWN, N.J. — Fair Lawn, Mahwah, Ramsey, and Ridgewood will join nearly 1,000 other communities across the country in honoring America's troops with the ceremonial laying of a wreath at noon on Sat., Dec. 12.
"It's fitting that we remember our troops and veterans right before the holidays," said Fair Lawn Mayor John Cosgrove, who helped coordinate his town's ceremony at the Veteran's Monument on the front lawn of Borough Hall. "Many have made a great sacrifice for us, so it is only right that we do this in remembrance of them."
Similar ceremonies will be taking place at Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood, Union Cemetery in Ramsey, and Maryrest Cemetery in Mahwah.
The wreath laying tradition began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester, owner of the Worcester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine, donated several wreaths at Christmastime to be laid at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
Twenty-three years later, that act of remembrance has spawned Wreaths Across America. This year, more than 7,000 memorial wreaths will be laid at some 1,000 different locations at the same time.
The non-profit organization Mahwah Marine Moms coordinated the wreath laying ceremony in their town.
Fair Lawn volunteer Rick Seidel has a different reason for laying a wreath.
Seidel, whose son has spent several Christmases serving in Afghanistan, says the ceremony serves as a reminder that not everybody can come home for the holidays -- and that some families are making a great sacrifice.
"I can tell you firsthand that when you have a deployed child you are not enjoying the holidays too much," Seidel said. "The point of the ceremony is to remember those that served and that are serving, and to never forget."
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