DALLAS COUNTY, Iowa – Over 3,000 wreaths make its way from northern Maine to Iowa for Wreaths Across America Ceremony.
The semi-truck filled with 3,265 wreaths made its way to the Iowa Veterans Cemetery.
Wreaths Across America Coordinator Patrick Palmersheim said the wreaths cost $47,000 and came from donations.
“I never dreamed in 2008 when I did the first wreath ceremony with seven wreaths that I would ever be trying to raise enough money to buy this many wreaths,” Palmersheim said.
The program is meant to honor both veterans and families during the holidays.
Volunteer Driver Jane Orlanes delivered wreaths for the first time to the cemetery.
“My husband has passed away and he is buried here at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. He was a veteran for seven years, served for seven years in the Navy and I really wanted to do this to just honor all veterans and to be able to bring the respect to them,” Orlanes said.
Orlanes discovered her company was involved with Wreaths Across America and wanted to volunteer.
“I had come to the ceremonies before I actually became a truck driver, and I had known they were delivering here. I found out our company was doing that so I have asked my company if I could be the one to go get the wreaths in Maine and bring them back to honor everybody,” Orlanes said.
Palmersheim said 1,600 cemeteries across the country and overseas with 1.6 million wreaths will participate this year.
At least 20 volunteers Thursday helped unload the truck and prepare the wreaths for the ceremony on Saturday.
Volunteer Leslie Dorr said, “It’s just we have a whole family history of veterans and now my husband’s, unfortunately, buried out here in one of the sections, so now it is even more meaningful for me to come out here and do what I can to help support the veterans and their families.”
The Wreaths Across America Ceremony is Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery. Volunteers and family members will lay the wreaths.