WAYNE, PA — National Wreaths Across America Day, celebrated on December 17, 2022, is being set aside to REMEMBER the Fallen, HONOR those who Serve, and TEACH our children the value of Freedom. The organization’s mission is carried out by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, and more than 3,400 additional locations in all 50 U.S. states, at sea, and abroad.
The Jeptha Abbott Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) will be participating again at Old Eagle School Cemetery, Wayne, PA, at 11 A.M. It is open to the public.
Rear Admiral (R) Scott Clendenin, U.S Coast Guard (Virginia, formerly of Springfield, PA), will be the keynote speaker. Previously, he worked at U.S. headquarters responsible for seven operational mission areas. Before this, he was the Captain of four different Coast Guard Cutters, including the Hamilton, a 418-foot national security cutter named after Alexander Hamilton.
As part of the United States of America Vietnam War Commemoration, Vietnam Veteran Lieutenant (R) (j.g.) Michael Freeland (Wynnewood, PA) will be receiving the Vietnam 50th Commemoration Pin.
The event will feature a wreath-laying ceremony representing each branch of the service. Those participating are:
- US Air Force — Duane C. Parker, Jr., in honor of his father, Second Lieutenant Duane C. Parker, Sr., Phoenixville, PA;
- U.S. Army — Lieutenant Colonel (R) Mark O’Neill, U.S. Army, Special Forces, Bryn Mawr, PA;
- U.S. Coast Guard – Rear Admiral (R) Scott W. Clendenin, Virginia (formerly of Springfield, PA);
- US Marines — Lance Corporal (R) Anthony Fillipelli, Strafford, PA;
- US Merchant Marines — William Gresh, State President, PA Children of the American Revolution, in honor of his father, Staff Sergeant (R) Perry Gresh, Paoli, PA;
- U.S. Navy – Lieutenant (R) (j.g.) Michael W. Freeland, U.S. Navy Reserve, Wynnewood, PA;
- POW-MIA — Lieutenant (R) (j.g.) Thomas C. Deas, Jr., U.S. Navy, Surface Warfare Officer, Haverford, PA.
Additionally, the following members of the Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution Color Guard will be presenting the Colors: Jay Bowden, Wayne, PA, Jon Fitzgerald, Thornton, PA, Robert Flood, Montgomeryville, PA, Kip Gerhart, Philadelphia, PA, Rob McNelly, Collegeville, PA, and Leif Zetterberg, Bryn Mawr, PA.
After the ceremony, the public will lay live balsam wreaths on all veteran graves – some of which date back to the American Revolution. Wreaths are provided by Wreaths Across America and cost $15 each. To buy a wreath to place at a veteran’s grave, go to WAA-Old Eagle School. The deadline to buy one is November 29.
Old Eagle Cemetery is located at 175 Old Eagle School Road in Wayne, PA. Refreshments will be served. Parking is at the Strafford train station.
Jeptha Abbott DAR Chapter Regent Teri Fischer says, “As direct descendants of patriots from the American Revolution, we are compelled to honor these heroes and all veterans throughout the generations. This event allows us to support an outstanding organization while fulfilling our mission of historic preservation, education, and patriotism.”