Skip to Content

Wreaths Across America Returning To Cookeville Cemeteries

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Wreaths Across America Returning To Cookeville Cemeteries

Wreaths Across America will return to the Cookeville Cemetery and Crest Lawn Cemetery Saturday to honor the veterans laid to rest there.

Wreaths Across America is a volunteer-driven program where residents sponsor wreaths, which are then laid on the gravesites of veterans in a special ceremony. Volunteer Coordinator Tracey Chamberlin spearheaded the return to Cookeville.

“Wreaths Across America has a saying that you die twice,” Chamberlin said. “The first time you physically die, and the second is when your name is stopped being said. So, when we lay the wreath, we make sure to say their name so they’re always remembered.”

The wreaths remain on the graves through December and are picked up in January. There will be a ceremony at the courthouse Saturday at 11am. After the ceremony, they will branch out and go to the Cookeville Cemetery and Crest Lawn to lay the wreaths.

Chamberlin said this work is personal for her. Her father was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

“My dad wasn’t here to see all this happen, but I am accomplishing this with the veterans,” Chamberlin said. “It’s kind of bittersweet. I wish he was here to see it, but I kind of do this in his honor.”

Then the year-long work the organization does to get sponsors to honor veterans begins all over again.

“We have to find sponsors to purchase the wreaths and put the ceremony together, which is my job,” Chamberlin said. “It entails finding all those people who are willing to help. Then the trucks come the first couple weeks of December. We have to log those in when they get in and then wait for ceremony day.”

Last year marked the first year for Wreaths Across America in Cookeville. Chamberlin said it was difficult to start the project because the cemeteries do not have a system to distinguish veterans. She said she is working on getting that changed.

Wreaths are $17 each and you can sponsor one through Wreaths Across America’s website. The money made from selling wreaths goes toward getting more wreaths for the project. Chamberlin said they are already seeking sponsors for next year’s ceremony.

Wreaths Across America is a non-profit that has been honoring veterans through ceremonies like this since 1992.


The post Wreaths Across America Returning To Cookeville Cemeteries appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.