Jo Ann Brunk had tears in her eyes as her late husband Bill was remembered. Well known for his involvement in the community of Washington, Bill Brunk was just one of the many veterans honored at Wreaths Across America on Saturday in Washington’s Glendale Cemetery.





Part of a national project, citizens from around the country participated in similar ceremonies at exactly noon EST.


 

 

 

Jo Ann Brunk had tears in her eyes as her late husband Bill was remembered. Well known for his involvement in the community of Washington, Bill Brunk was just one of the many veterans honored at Wreaths Across America on Saturday in Washington’s Glendale Cemetery.


Part of a national project, citizens from around the country participated in similar ceremonies at exactly noon EST.


“We had over 550 participating locations, including 24 overseas locations that we place ceremonial wreaths at,” said Marcy Beardsley, fundraising group coordinator for Wreaths Across America.


Started in 1992, Wreaths Across America was inspired by one man’s boyhood trip to Arlington National Cemetery. That man was Morrill Worcester, president of the Maine-based Worcester Wreath Co.


“In 1992, he had an abundance of wreaths and decided to take them to Arlington and that’s where it started,” said Beardsley.


A simple Internet photo initiated the program’s growth from the regional Arlington Wreath Project to the national Wreaths Across America event.


“In 2006, Wreaths Across America was formed as a nonprofit organization due to the overwhelming response of a picture that was placed online by somebody who had been at Arlington helping to place the wreaths,” said Beardsley.


The project was brought to Washington in 2008 by local resident, Carol Moss.


“I had heard about Wreaths Across America and started checking it out. I figured it was something we really needed to do in Washington … because there are a lot of veterans in the local area here,” said Moss, who serves as location leader for Wreaths Across America Washington.


In the local version of the ceremony, seven veterans placed wreaths at a monument in the cemetery to honor of those who have served.


About 30 people attended the event, according to Moss.


Highlights of the ceremony included a speech by Dan Semlow, a Navy veteran who serves as post commander for VFW Post 9016.


In his speech, Semlow discussed the multi-generational military connection between the late Bill Brunk and Washington resident Sebastian Whiting, who recently enlisted in the service.


“One Navy veteran from Washington has gone to the big pond upstairs and the other has just started,” said Semlow.


Semlow, who was in the Navy for 20 years, is very fond of the event.


“It is probably the simplest way to remember those who served. And it doesn’t have to be someone that is deceased. It could be someone who is still alive or someone who just joined who is in boot camp right now,” said Semlow.


Washington Mayor Gary Manier also spoke at the event.


After the event, attendees laid eight sponsored wreaths in the area of the cemetery where Civil War veterans are buried. The wreaths were sponsored by Mason Funeral Home.


The next Wreaths Across America ceremony will take place, at noon EST, Dec. 10, 2011.