346 wreaths placed on graves of Havre de Grace veterans

The constant rains stopped around 2 p.m. Saturday, just in time for volunteers to honor the veterans who are buried in Havre de Grace cemeteries.

For the first time, Joseph L. Davis American Legion Post 49 in Havre de Grace joined in Wreaths Across America, when Christmas wreaths are placed on the graves of veterans.

Organizers had hoped to place 200 wreaths.

“We laid 346,” said Alma Orive, Wreaths Across America officer for the post and a retired Army major. “It was magnificent.”

Participating in the ceremony and wreath-laying were members of the Harford Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol who are based at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

Members met with American Legion members at the Angel Hill Cemetery in the morning to stage the wreaths in preparation for the ceremony.

It was cold and rainy, but the cadets assisted with accomplishing the mission.

At the ceremony at Angel Hill Cemetery, where most of the wreaths were placed, cadets formed a color guard and presented the colors in the rain without skipping a beat. They were commended by Maj. Gen. Randy S. Taylor, senior commander at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.

During the ceremony, wreaths were placed for POW/MIAs by Orive; Taylor; Marine Corps, Post Chaplain Rev. Rick Haynes, USMC veteran; Navy, Jason Robertson, executive committee and Army veteran; Air Force, Steve Koester, sergeant-at-arms and retired Air Force veteran; Coast Guard, Johnny Boker, second vice commander, Army veteran; and Merchant Marine, Bill Crouse, Maryland Army National Guard.

After the ceremony, the cadets were invited to assist with carefully placing the 346 wreaths on the headstones of the fallen heroes.

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