Wreaths Across America - Chattanooga Project Kicks Off On Friday
Friday, August 10, 2018 - by Willard Rice
Capt Mickey McCamish U.S. Navy (retired), President - Chattanooga Navy League and Wreaths Across America committee member for Sponsorships, Manny Rico, retired councilman, Jim Coppinger - Hamilton County Mayor,
Andrew Byrd - City Councilman
The “Wreaths Across America - Wreaths Across Chattanooga Project” was kicked off Friday morning at the National Cemetery. Marty Nix of the Chattanooga Civil Air Patrol and leader of the local project announced that the goal is to lay wreaths on all 43,000 grave markers at the National Cemetery in December each year. This past year wreaths were laid on approximately 10,000 grave markers.
The goal is to raise $430,000 each year to cover the $10 per wreath cost.
The Wreath Project leaders acknowledged the ambitiousness of the goal while emphasizing how the project pulls together diverse parts of the community through either through financial contributions of any size or by simply helping to lay out the wreaths in December.
Through inspired remarks to the assembled participants, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger and City Councilman Andrew Byrd expressed their support for the project by praising the involvement of many local service and veteran organizations -evidenced by their presence at the ceremony— such as the Civil Air Patrol, the Chattanooga Navy League, the DAR, the US Marines, US Coast Guard , and US Army.
The Wreaths Across America project started in 2006 at the Arlington National Cemetery and has spread to 1400 locations across the country and overseas but it would be hard to find another site rivaling the setting and solemnity of Chattanooga National Cemetery.