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Camp Chase, Green Lawn participate in Wreaths Across America
The Hilltop Historical Society (HHS) and Civil Air Patrol will place wreaths across the graves of Civil War soldiers at a ceremony on Dec. 10 at noon at the Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery, 2900 Sullivant Ave.
This is the second year the HHS has participated in Wreaths Across America, a program held at more than 600 sites throughout the U.S.
“We hold an annual service at Camp Chase,” said Dick Hoffman, HHS board member. “It seemed like a natural thing for us to be involved with.”
According to Hoffman, the theme is, “The Christmas they never had,” and honors those who spent a holiday away from loved ones and in memory of those who never made it home.
The Dayton National Cemetery administers Camp Chase. The historical society watches the cemetery year round, keeping an eye out for things like graffiti.
“Last year they came to us and asked if we would be interested in working with the Civil Air Patrol for Wreaths across America,” Hoffman said.
HHS members worked with the Sons of the Confederacy this year to organize the ceremony at Camp Chase.
A special wreath will be placed at the cemetery to honor every member of the armed services including the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard as well as prisoners of war. There will be a unique wreath with an emblem for each group, Hoffman said.
The lying of wreaths takes place at noon worldwide regardless of the weather, Hoffman said. The program is scripted so everyone experiences the same program around the world.
Last year 500 cemeteries participated in the program and more than 100 cemeteries were added this year, Hoffman said.
“This is quite a project,” he said.
Hoffman said there are 2,216 soldiers and civilians buried at the Camp Chase Confederate Cemetery.
“A lot of people don’t know there is a Confederate Cemetery in Columbus,” he said. “There was a Union training camp and war camp from 1861 to 1865.”
Green Lawn Cemetery participating
Sponsoring the Green Lawn project is the Franklin County Veterans Services Commission. Civil War veterans were chosen for this year’s project because it is the 150th anniversary of the start of the war, according to a news release.
At Green Lawn Cemetery members of the Sons of Union, Veterans of the Civil War, William Dennison Camp #1 and the Franklin Heights Junior Navy ROTC unit will lay the wreaths.
Doug Lay, Franklin County Veterans Services Commission, said the commission works with Green Lawn Cemetery to honor men and women who fought for their country and are now deceased. He said it is important for them to be honored during the holiday season.
“The nice part is there is a national movement to honor veterans who are deceased,” Lay said.
Individuals can sponsor a wreath for the Wreaths Across America for $15, Hoffman said. As the sponsoring organization the HHS receives $5 for every wreath to help defray the costs.
For more information about the Wreaths Across American visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org or contact the HHS at 276-8045.
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