Grand Strand group seeks help to get enough Christmas wreaths for veterans at Florence National Cemetery

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - Nearly 13,000 veterans from the Pee Dee and Grand Strand are buried at Florence National Cemetery.

Every year, the Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina place Christmas wreaths at the foot of each headstone. Right now, they don’t have nearly enough wreaths to cover all 13,000 graves.

”They all deserve one, I don’t want to be the person that says you can have one, but you can’t,” President of Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina Carol Dion said.

Dion and Sharon Russell serve as officers for Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina. Since 2010, they’ve participated with Wreaths Across America, placing wreaths at Florence National Cemetery.

Dion and Russell watched as the number of wreaths grew every year. In 2019, they raised enough money to buy a wreath for nearly every headstone. But last year, they only had enough for one-third of the cemetery.

“With the pandemic, it’s been very difficult for us to hold our normal fundraisers, so we’re appealing to the public to get us one wreath at a time, and we can get them all covered,” Russell said.

The Blue Star Mothers only have enough wreaths sponsored for 1,500 graves.

Each wreath costs $15, and Dion and Russell said they need to have the money by Nov. 19.

“It’s not a lot of money, so if you can give up something like that. There’s over 600,000 people in Horry, Florence, Marion, and Georgetown Counties and all of those veterans are buried here cause this is the national cemetery for those counties, and we can’t get 13,000 wreaths sponsored,” Dion said.

Russell said she’s had the opportunity to speak with many families of veterans buried at the national cemetery. She said it’s hard to explain just much joy people get to see their loved ones honored during the holidays.

“They’re just so grateful, almost reduced to tears, at the thought that a complete stranger would purchase a wreath to honor a veteran,” Russell said.

You can sponsor a wreath by going to the Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina Facebook page or CLICK HERE to get the sponsorship form

You can also CLICK HERE to sponsor a wreath by credit card.

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