Honor Wreaths for Kandiyohi County Veterans :
The Honor Wreath project has been in process in Kandiyohi County since 2008. In the tradition of the "Wreaths Across America" project, which places wreaths on veteran graves at Arlington National Cemetery, we have been working to place some wreaths on the veteran graves in Kandiyohi County for over the holidays.
Example of a wreath place on a County Veteran Grave.
Initially the emphasis of the project was placed on honoring the fallen service members who died in combat in the military. Then wreaths were placed on the graves of the veterans that most recently died. We also tried to include wreaths on some of the Civil War, Spanish American War, and Indian War veterans. In 2008 about 100 wreaths were placed. In 2009 250 wreaths were placed on the graves of county veterans. Over the last ouple of years we have been able to place more than 600 wreaths on Veterans's Graves.
Honor Wreath placed on an Indian War veteran's grave.
Following the 2009 project year, we decided we wanted to get a better handle on the locations and number of veterans buried in the county. The initial list given to us showed about 1,800 veterans. We looked over the county and found over 70 cemeteries. A sight visit was placed to all cemeteries in the county and an "inventory" was made on the names, branch, rank, date of birth, date of death, and location of the graves of veterans in the county. The list exploded from 1,800 to over 3,000 veterans buried in the county.
In 2010, our goal became to place wreaths on about 20% of the veterans in the county. We were successful and were able to place over 600 wreaths at the 70+ cemeteries in Kandiyohi County. The Blue Star Mothers of Minnesota Chapter 1 have been the fiscal agent in this project and helped provide volunteers for the placement of the Honor Wreaths. Placement began the last weekend of November. With the help of great volunteers and financial donations, we met our goal for the 2010, 2011 & 2012 years.
Volunteers that helped place the Honor Wreaths.
We want to thank everyone for the generous donations made to help make this project a success. We also want to thank Stacy's Nursery in Willmar for their help and support in providing the wreaths for this project. They have been a great help to the success of this project.
We are already in the planning stages for the 2013 project. We hope to be able to cover more of the veterans in the county, and are creating a database of the information gathered. With the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, we will dedicate to making sure the veterans of that war all have wreaths on them. Our long term goal would be to see a wreath on the grave of every veteran in the county. It is just a small way to show how much we appreciated their service and sacrifice for our country.
We have met our goal to raise funds to purchase a GPS system and we are currently working to provide precise location information on the grave locations. We hope that an improved accuracy of the locations will help make this project easier, and provide a useful tool and resource for the future.
Please E-mail us if you have any questions or would like to make a contribution to this project.