Approximately 100 people joined military and elected government officials at Beverly National Cemetery to place 332 wreaths on gravesites in a designated section of the historic cemetery as part of Wreaths Across America recently.
The brief ceremony began at noon, simultaneous with ceremonies at 650 sites around the world, with a moment of silence.
Then, seven wreaths were placed to remember those who served in each branch of service and Prisoners Of War/Missing In Action.
More than 100,000 wreaths were placed at Arlington National Cemetery, the site of the first Wreaths Across America ceremony 19 years ago.
The U.S. Air Force Auxiliary Civil Air Patrol Group 223 from Sayreville sponsored the Beverly event. Capt. Patrick Rutherford organized and served as emcee for the event.
The Burlington County Freeholders supported the effort at Beverly for the sixth consecutive year, and Freeholder Joseph B. Donnelly thanked all those who served and who are serving in our Armed Forces, and the members of the public who attended.
Vietnam Veteran Curt Anderson played “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes and U.S. Army (ret.) bugler Dick Pinter played “Taps” to conclude the ceremony.
All in attendance were then invited to place three wreaths on the graves of Medal of Honor recipients buried at Beverly.
Following that, 329 wreaths were placed in Section S of the cemetery.
Seven specially designated wreaths for the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, Merchant Marines, and POW/MIA were placed at the flagpole by Lt. Colonel Robert Woodward (Army), Lt. Michael Treacy (Navy), Master Sgt. Robert Morrell, retired (Marines), Airman 1C Jeffrey Letendre and Staff Sgt. Greg Owen (Air Force), Petty Officer 1C Matthew L. Foster (Coast Guard), Midshipman Robert Ford (Merchant Marines) and former Beverly Mayor Jean Wetherill (POW/MIA).