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Wreathed in love

WADHAMS Hiking out into a field with over a foot of snow, about 10 residents took time to remember the service of late veterans. Wreaths were laid upon the seven gravestones at the Essex County Veterans Cemetery on Dec. 19, a holiday recognition of those who have served the United States. The idea was suggested by Jerry and Judy Strack of Lake Placid, who contacted veteran Bud Egglefield to place wreaths on the graves of late Elizabethtown resident Spencer Egglefield, and the late Richard McDonald, formerly of Lake Placid. The Essex County Veteran's Cemetery Committee discussed the matter at its Dec. 11 meeting, and decided to run with it. "(We) decided that we would put wreaths on all seven of the veterans graves at the veterans cemetery. This would parallel the national wreath laying program initiated by the tree farmer from Maine who donates and places thousands of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery each year on Dec. 15," said committee co-chairman Newman Tryon. Essex County's recognition was inspired by The Wreaths Across America Program started by Morrill Worchester, owner of Worchester Wreath Company in Harrington, Maine - the world's largest wreath producer. Every year since 1992, Worchester places wreaths upon gravestones in Arlington National Cemetery, laying 5,000 Wreaths among the 300,000 graves. Representatives from several county veterans organizations pledged to pay for the remaining five wreaths. These were Elizabethtown American Legion Post, Elizabethtown Legion Auxiliary Unit, Lewis American Legion Post, Essex County Leathernecks, and the Mineville VFW. The balsam Wreaths were purchased at a discounted price from local wreathmaker Chris Mitchell. Tryon said a story in the November/December edition of Yankee Magazine had detailed the program. This year, Wreaths are being placed at more than 200 veterans' cemeteries across the nation. Tryon added the committee planned on making the Essex County wreath-laying an annual event. Ellen Egglefield, the widow of Spencer Egglefield who passed away in October, said she found comfort in the remembrance. "It's very nice to remember the veterans in this way, in the winter. We remember them in the warmer weather, but in the colder weather sometimes they've been forgotten," she said. "Everyone needs to be honored in some small way."

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