The Sgt. Mac Memorial Foundation
"Remembering One, Honoring All"
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National Wreath Project




Hyper links to past years:  2012    2007       2008      2009      2010        2011    2012



              
                                             2006
left; Don Farren and his daughter Laura were among those to help place wreaths on a rainy Christmas morning in 2006.
ctr;People just appeared and asked to help even on Christmas morning.
r.The end result was encouraging even though we ran out of wreaths before section 10 was completely decorated.
Beginning of The National Wreath Project

The wreath project began when Eric's parents started placing wreaths on his grave around Thanksgiving of 2006. Each time they visited the cemetery with a new wreath they would place the existing wreath on the grave of a neighboring Marine. Susan eventually mentioned they should purchase more wreaths to place on as many graves as possible because far too many were not being decorated. With families all over the country the couple decided to explore the possibility of purchasing as many wreaths as possible. One thing lead to another and after discussions with the Giant Food Floral Manager, the couple was able to purchase 515 wreaths and placed them with the help of a few friends and family members on Christmas Day 2006. It was at that time that the decision was made to make it an annual event and Giant Foods of Carlisle, PA. was quick to commit to supplying the wreaths at their cost and The National Wreath Project was born.
                                          
                                                                            2007 National Wreath Project ;


It was cold in Gettysburg and the Wreaths were caked in snow. While hands and fingers grew numb the spirit of the volunteers remained high.Giant Food employees played a key roll in making this years project a success. Giant Foods sells us these wreaths at their cost of $7.00 each
Above: The day began early in the parking lot of Giant Food in Gettysburg, the local food store had provided a tent in the event of inclement weather. A truck load of wreaths awaited, ABF Freight Systems had it's containers in place and volunteers were on the job before 8:00 AM. Volunteers came from as far as Quantico, VA and Annapolis, MD to help tie on the red bows. Gettysburg High School was well represented by a contingent from their J.R.O.T.C. program commanded by Col. Mike Wertz and Staff Sergeant Jones.Once again the Gettysburg Battlefield Detachment of the Marine Corps League was on hand as were members of the American Legion Post 202 and numerous friends. There were approximately 65 volunteers organized by board member Stan Clark and the job was completed with military precision and possibly world record time.
We were honored to have Capt. Lawrence Greenslit, Command Chaplain Marine Corps Base Quantico. Capt. Greenslit delivered appropriate and poignant words originally spoken by a Navy Rabbi during the dedication at Iwo Jima. Volunteers and friends gather before the wreath placement.
Approximately 75 volunteers from through out the area gathered at Quantico National Cemetery for the Second Annual placement for the National Wreath Project. The wreaths that originated in Gettysburg the day before were transported at no cost by ABF Freight Systems, Inc of Carlisle, PA.
Overhead view  courtesy of Kathy Reesey, Marine Combat Camera, MCB, Quantico, VA.

                        2008 National Wreath Project 

Below: On Thursday, December 4, 2008 a truck donated by Graphcom Printing of Gettysburg, PA stopped at Eisenhower Elementary School in Gettysburg, PA, it's cargo was 2800 red bows. The bows were taken into the school cafeteria where the three third grades took on the job of placing donor labels on each bow. FYI, every donation is divided by the cost of a completed wreath, this year the cost was $7.00 each. That number of mailing labels was printed with the donors name and hometown. It took these eager third graders less than an hour to complete the task and for their help we are eternally y grateful. A special thanks to Mrs. Joan Peck, Eisenhower's Principal who took little if any convincing to commit her third graders to the project. Eisenhower was chosen because Eric spent his grade school years at the school that was located less than two miles from his home
left- Commander Jim Sutton of American Legion Post 202, Getttysburg, PA & John McColley .C-  Susan McColley with volunteers. Right - Commander Randy Cocker with members of Combat Veterans of America Motorcycle Club present John & Susan McColley with a donation
The day began early in the parking lot of Giant Food in Gettysburg, the local food store had provided a tent in the event of inclement weather. A truck load of wreaths awaited, ABF Freight Systems had it's containers in place and volunteers were on the job before 8:00 AM. Volunteers came from as far as Quantico, VA and Annapolis, MD to help tie on the red bows. Gettysburg High School was well represented by a contingent from their J.R.O.T.C. program commanded by Col. Mike Wertz and Staff Sergeant Jones.Once again the Gettysburg Battlefield Detachment of the Marine Corps League was on hand as were members of the American Legion Post 202 and numerous friends. There were approximately 65 volunteers organized by board member Stan Clark and the job was completed with military precision and possibly world record time
After a short lunch break at the American Legion in Gettysburg volunteers gathered at the Soldiers National Cemetery to place over 500 wreaths. Volunteers came from as far as Annapolis, MD, Philadelphia,PA and Quantico, VA to take part in the event. Congressman Todd Platts took time from his busy schedule to be on hand and help with the placement.
                                                        National Wreath Project 2009 
The 2009 National Wreath Project began as always, in Gettysburg,Pa. On Friday, December 4, 2009 volunteers gathered early in the parking lot of Giant Food in Gettysburg. This is the third year that Giant has hosted the annual bow tying event but the fourth year of their involvement. It was a sunny, brisk day but people began to arrive earlier than usual in the store parking lot located on Natural Springs Rd. Everything was in place, ABF Freight Systems had donated their Relo cubes, a tent supplied by Giant Food and a seemingly endless supply of coffee and donuts for the volunteers also supplied by Giant Food, not to mention what looked like a parking lot full of green Christmas wreaths.
Soldiers National Cemetery
The reverend Lou Nyiri of Gettysburg Presbyterian Church spoke in a brief opening ceremony. Lou recalled our first meeting almost four years earlier after Eric's death. Since that time Lou has always been there when called upon and for that Susan and I are eternally grateful. Also on hand once again were members of Gettysburg High School J.R.O.T.C
Quantico National Cemetery 2009
Anyone that was with us on December 5th can appreciate these photos, the rain began early and continued throughout the morning turning to snow before we were finished.
1.The morning began early for Stan Clark, Lionel Thomas from ABF Freight Systems Inc.,2. Lt. Townes, Chaplain at the Marine Corps Air Station , Quantico joined us this year.3. Annual group photo
The weather did little to dampen the spirits of this years volunteers. Marine MOM's from as far away as Tennessee joined us this year
Before the day was over the rain turned to snow.
Soldiers National Cemetery 2010
 
                    National Wreath Project 2011 

 Quantico National Cemetery 2011
                                          Soldiers National Cemetery 2011
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