For the second year, the township will take part in the national Wreaths Across America event, starting at 11:45 a.m. with a ceremony at Veterans Park on Union Valley Road.
"Wreaths Across America-West Milford" got its start in 2018, courtesy of Evan LeMay and Matthew Hoffman, two patriotic West Milford High School students.
The young men collaborated with West Milford Military Moms and Wreaths Across America to begin honoring West Milford veterans laid to rest in three local cemeteries for their service and sacrifice.
Wreaths Across America is a national nonprofit organization that raises funds to pay for wreaths that community volunteers then place on veterans’ graves across the nation. A special tribute ceremony in their community further honors the veterans.
In 2018, residents and organizations warmly embraced the first WAA event as evidenced by the generous donations for wreaths, attendance at the ceremony in Veteran’s Park, and the many volunteers that took the time to honor the fallen by placing wreaths on their graves at the three local cemeteries.
Each year, the WAA national organization introduces a new motivational theme. This year’s theme is “Everyone plays a part.”
According to WAA-WM, the inspiration for this year’s theme came from the Wreaths Across America founder’s grandson, Miles, who thanked a service member in uniform for his service. The gentleman replied, “Thank you. ... Everyone plays a part.”
The main ceremony will take place at 11:45 a.m. Dec. 14 at Veteran’s Park in front of the West Milford Municipal Building, Union Valley Road and Ridge Road.
After it concludes, volunteers from the community will then travel to the participating cemeteries, Cedar Heights Cemetery on Ridge Road and St. Joseph’s Church Cemetery on Germantown Road, to lay wreaths on the pre-marked veterans’ gravesites.
Boy Scout Troop 44 has volunteered to honor the veterans laid to rest at the third participating cemetery, in the township at the West Milford Presbyterian Church, for the second consecutive year.