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Gift brings wreaths to veterans' graves

Standard-Speaker - 12/22/2017

Dec. 22--WEST HAZLETON -- Wreaths adorn the graves of all 280 veterans at Transfiguration Cemetery, thanks to an anonymous gift to Wreaths Across America.

The donor and helpers located the graves of each veteran in the cemetery along Route 93 a few days before the wreaths were delivered Dec. 17, Bernadine Antolick of West Hazleton said.

For the past four years, Antolick, whose husband, Thomas, is buried at Fort Indiantown Gap National Cemetery, and Donald Drasher, an Army veteran who lives in Butler Twp., have been the local coordinators for Wreaths Across America.

In addition to the wreaths donated for Transfiguration Cemetery, area residents paid $15 apiece for wreaths that they placed on the graves of family and friends in other local cemeteries for Christmas.

Wreaths Across America began in 1992 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia after a picture of snow dusting wreaths on graves caught national attention and led the owners of the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine, to form a nonprofit association.

Now the organization known as Wreaths Across America is based in Columbia Falls, Maine, and run by a board of directors. The organization distributes wreaths to towns and historic sites from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in New York City.



(c)2017 the Standard-Speaker (Hazleton, Pa.)

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