Gold, Blue Star Moms team with Wreaths Across America to honor veterans

TEMPLE, Dec. 8 – The Central Pennsylvania Chapters of the Gold Star Mothers of America and the Blue Star Mothers of America will partner with the national Wreaths Across America organization for the annual wreath-laying ceremony at noon Saturday at the Capitol in Harrisburg, said state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, who will participate in the ceremony.

Wreaths Across America is a nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Ceremony. Its mission, “Remember, Honor, Teach,” is carried out in part by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies each December in all 50 state capitols.

The keynote speaker will be Col. David E. Wood, chief of staff of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard’s 28th Infantry Division. John Brenner, chairman of the Pennsylvania State Veterans Commission, also will speak. State Rep. Stephen Barrar, Republican chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness, will preside over the ceremony.

Individual wreaths, signifying every branch of the armed services, will be formally presented by respective representatives of the military in addition to the remembrance wreath. The ceremonial wreaths are provided by the Worcester Wreath Co. as a donation to the Wreaths Across America campaign.

Staff Sgt. Ian Bowling of the U.S. Army Soldiers' Chorus and the Central Dauphin High School choir, under the direction of John Madas, will perform at the ceremony. Pennsylvania Army National Guard Support Chaplain Maj. Shaun Myers will give the invocation and benediction, and the posting and retiring of Colors will be provided by the Pennsylvania Military Funeral Honors Guard. For more information, please email RepRozzi@pahouse.net.