Wreath-Laying in Washingtonville Cemetery Sees Unprecedented Numbers
By Eugenia Moskowitz
Volunteers laid 227 wreaths at Washingtonville All-Faiths Cemetery on North Street and at the veterans’ stones at Veterans Memorial Park on West Main Street on Dec. 14.
The annual endeavor comes under the umbrella of the National Wreaths Across America organization, as similar laying of wreaths is done in cemeteries across the country, and was arranged by Washingtonville village historian Linda Standish, the local VFW, the Blooming Grove/Washingtonville Chamber of Commerce, the First Presbyterian Church of Washingtonville, Village Board members Val Laudato and Laurisa Sampson, many community activists, civic and religious groups, the Washingtonville High School JROTC, and Boy- and Girl-Scout troops.
“The mission,” Chamber and Board of Education member Kevin Radday said, “is to remember fallen U.S. veterans, and to honor those who serve and teach our children the value of freedom.”
The unprecedented number of people who attended the event caused a bit of a backup along the cemetery’s single lane roads as no one had expected such a huge turnout compared with last year’s numbers. First Presbyterian Church elder Nancy Popoloski, who had volunteered to direct cars, handled the sticky parking situation admirably while the public mostly remained patient, realizing that the huge patriotic turnout was the reason for the vehicular bottleneck. With a lot of reverse driving skills and teamwork, by 11:00 a.m. the cemetery was empty again except for one lone car whose driver had mysteriously vanished.
The cemetery, which is maintained by First Presbyterian Church elders, welcomes volunteer muscle-power for mowing and weed-whacking twice annually in the spring and summer. Those with power equipment who wish to help may contact the church office directly.
Caption 1: An opening ceremony was held by the Veterans Monument at the start of the annual event. (Photo by Colleen Doyle)
Caption 2: After the wreath-laying, the public exited the cemetery. (Photo by Eugenia Moskowitz)
Caption 3: One of the tombstones accurately described all our nation’s veterans, current and throughout history. (Photo by Eugenia Moskowitz)