FRAMINGHAM – Early Saturday morning, several Veterans and city workers placed wreaths at the cemeteries in the City of Framingham.
A large wreath was placed at the entrance to each of the cemeteries.
While service members are honored in the spring for Memorial Day and in the fall for Veterans Day, they are sometimes forgotten during the winter holiday season.
The wreaths were organized by the same group of individuals who helped to revitalize the Framingham Veterans Memorial Park on Route 126 in downtown Framingham.
“We wanted to honor our Veterans this holiday season,” said Framingham Police Lt. Robert Downing, a U.S. Army Veteran, who was one of the organizers.
Lt. Downing said in 2022, he would like to place a wreath on every Veterans’ grave for the holiday season, partnering with Wreaths Across America.
The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember Veterans during every season.
“While we have Veterans Day in the fall and Memorial Day in the spring, our servicemen and women sacrifice their time and safety every single day of the year, to preserve our freedoms. And in many homes across the U.S., every day there is an empty seat for one who is serving, or one who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. That is why our mission to Remember, Honor and Teach lasts all year long, far beyond the single day in December when we coordinate wreath-laying ceremonies. All throughout the year, Wreaths Across America works in a number of ways to show our veterans and their families that we will not forget—we will never forget,” said the organization.
Framingham Veterans Agent Kathy Lang, who also volunteered on Saturday, said there are more than 4,200 Veterans graves in the City of Framingham.
Lt. Downing said the cost to place a wreath on each grave would be about $30,000.
Those who participated in placing a 5-foot wreath at Veterans Memorial Park, and about a half dozen other cemeteries across the City agree with Lt. Downing that it would be the right thing to do to place a wreath at every grave in 2022.
At St. Tarcisius Cemetery, members of the Framingham Department of Public Works and Lt. Jay Ball, a U.S. Army Veteran helped secure the wreath to the cemetery sign with wire.
Next, the caravan of volunteers including the City’s newest fire engine driven by Assistant Fire Chief John Schultz, made its way to the Old Burying Ground on Main Street. There again, volunteers, including Framingham Parks & Recreation Director Jim Snyder, secured a large wreath to the entrance.
From there, the volunteers with two motorcycle police officers leading the way went to Edgell Grove Cemetery, where volunteers including Framingham School Committee member Ricky Finlay helped secure a wreath to the entrance.
At St. Stephen’s cemetery, City Councilor Janet Leombruno climbed a wall and anchored herself to a tree to help secure the wreath for Veterans.
Interim Framingham DPW Director Bill Sedewitz, a U.S. Navy veteran, volunteered on Saturday morning along with Veterans Council member Nick Paganella, District 6 City Councilor Phil Ottaviani, SIFOC Vice Chair Mary Kate Feeney, and Youth Council Chair Isabella Petroni.
Many of the police officers and DPW employees who volunteered their time on Saturday for a couple of hours also were Veterans.
Petroni Media Company photos for SOURCE.