Fundraising for wreaths at Willow Cemetery

Staff Writer

It’s time, reasons Doug Sweeney, to remember the veterans buried at Willow Cemetery in Oregon by participating in the annual Wreaths Across America Day event.
Sweeney, a seasonal worker at the cemetery, said last week he plans to raise funds to purchase wreaths for placement this year on the graves of the veterans buried at the cemetery.
Ralph Burgess, city sexton, said there are 971 veterans buried at the cemetery.
“We have honored veterans including a Spanish American War vet, Civil War vets, WW I, WW II, Korea and Vietnam veterans as well as other deceased service personnel from all branches,” he said.
This year, Wreaths Across America is scheduled for Dec. 14.
“We want to make sure these veterans are remembered, past and present,” Sweeney said.
Sweeney and a friend, Bob Ward, spent a week this summer in Washington, D.C., mowing the sprawling lawns of Arlington National Cemetery. For Sweeney, it was the second summer he went to D.C. to work at Arlington.
Not allowed to volunteer for the mowing work, he and Ward were hired by Greenleaf Services, Inc., a veteran-owned company that does the cutting.
The two men plan to donate their wages from the week to purchase wreaths through Wreaths Across America and seek donations from area businesses and residents.
“I will be putting flyers up at local businesses and have a link to the Wreaths Across America website,” Sweeney said.
Donors can sponsor wreaths for $15 each. Discounts are given for larger amounts.
Sweeney is the son of a veteran of the Korean Conflict and Ward is a Marine veteran.
Wreaths Across America coordinates wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as more than 1,600 additional locations in all 50 states and abroad, according to its website.
Sweeney can be reached at 419-262-6024.


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