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A Wreath for Every Headstone

Friends and family will gather this weekend at the National Cemetary of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville, and at national cemetaries across the country, to honor the memory of veterans buried there. The nonprofit group Wreaths Across America (WAA) will lay wreaths on more than 400,000 military graves nationwide this holiday season.

Chuck Kovach, of Washington County, volunteers with WAA. His father served in the south Pacific during World War II, and both of his parents are interred at the National Cemetary of the Alleghenies. As an architect for FedEx Ground, Kovach got his employer involved in the program. The company now provides around $100,000 in in-kind shipping services to transport wreaths across the country.

Wreaths Across America's objective is to have a wreath on every headstone in every national cemetary. With two active wars and an aging population of veterans from previous conflicts, it's getting more difficult to stay on pace with that goal. "It's an ever-growing number," Kovach said. Last year, 85 veterans were laid to rest at the National Cemetary of the Alleghenies. "At last report that number has increased to 135 funerals per month," he said.

The wreath-laying ceremony for the National Cemetary of the Alleghenies in Bridgeville will take place at noon on Saturday, December 10th. Contributions for next year's project can be made by purchasing a wreath at the Wreaths Across America website.