Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery Prepares Thousands Of Wreaths For Fallen Heroes
OWINGS MILLS - On Saturday, community members and veterans will gather at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetary to honor the over 35,000 veterans buried there.
According to Bill Miller, Director of Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetary, the cemetery is the busiest state-supported cemetery in Maryland and has over 46,000 graves. This year marks Miller's sixth Wreaths Across America event, which he says carries special significance.
"I've been doing it for six years, and I'm going on 72 years old," Miller said. I'm gonna do it until I can't do it anymore, I'm a 30-year Air Force veteran, so it means a lot to me.
The ceremony involves putting a wreath on each grave before stepping back and saying the name of the fallen veteran. For Miller, saying the names is the most essential part of preserving the memory of these fallen heroes.
"What we ask people to do is when they place the reef, take a step back and utter the person's name," Miller said. "I always felt that if there ever comes a time where a veteran's name is not uttered, that veteran has been totally forgotten."
Garrison Forest has so far received around 2600 wreaths. 1700 more will be donated by Sheetz, who has been donating wreaths to cemeteries across Maryland and Pennsylvania for years.
Sheetz Public Relations Manager, Nick Ruffner, says the company is thrilled to participate in such a meaningful ceremony.
"Sheetz really strives to be the best neighbor we can be," Ruffner said. "This initiative is really about recognizing those who have served our nation, Ruffner said. "in some cases, we are talking about those who have given their lives for our freedom."
Sheetz drivers will be headed to Maine to pick up the wreaths before returning to Maryland to deliver them. Ruffner says that despite the extra work, Sheetz drivers are happy to participate in such a meaningful program.
"It is something our drivers really look forward to; they drive all the way up to Maine to gather the wreaths and then deliver them, Ruffner said. "If you see more than two Sheetz trucks driving around, it's safe to guess they're delivering wreaths."
The event will take place on Saturday, December 17, at 12:00 p.m. The cemetery still needs more wreaths so that every veteran can be honored. You can visit their website if you would like to donate a wreath to Garrison Forest.