Volunteers honor veterans buried at the Marco Island Cemetery

Chris Curle
Special to the Eagle

A surprise flyover by the Marco Island Civil Air Patrol’s Cessna 182 started the 3rd Annual Wreaths Across America ceremony at the Marco Island Cemetery, Saturday.

There were countless American flags, pine wreaths with red bows, men and women in uniform and participants, spectators and volunteers wearing red, white and blue clothing.

The first Marco Island Wreaths Across America event launched in 2019 by the Marco Island Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and Marco Island’s American Legion Post 404.

More:Secret Santa shopping: Joy of Giving helps families have a Merry Christmas

DAR Regent Ellen Camm opened the ceremony explaining that the event was “to remember and honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance Wreaths on the graves of our country’s fallen heroes and the act of saying aloud the name of each veteran as the wreath is placed.”

American Legion Post Commander Lee Rubenstein spoke of the fallen and their dedication to freedom. 

The Lely High School Color Guard presented Colors and members of the American Legion laid wreaths at the monument to the American Military branches: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard, also the Merchant Marine and now, the Space Force.

Tica Barrett of the New Life Community Church sang The National Anthem and Pastor Thomas McCulley gave the invocation.

While friends, family and volunteers began the laying of the wreaths, Emily Savage sang God Bless America.

Approximately 160 military veterans are buried at Marco Island Cemetery, going back to the Civil War.

The National Wreaths Across America Day began at Arlington National Cemetery and now is observed at more than 1,600 locations throughout the United States, at sea and abroad (wreathsacrossamerica.org).

DAR is a service organization with 180,000 members in three-thousand chapters worldwide. Members are women eighteen years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.

More:Christmas spirit lights up Marco – Tree-lighting ceremony moves to Mackle Park

Monthly DAR meetings are at 10:30 AM on the third Thursday of each month followed by luncheon. Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. The chapter has 74 members and welcomes visitors from other chapters. Contact Ellen Camm, ellencammg@gmail.com, 317-372-1174