Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit To Be At Clarion Mall On Sunday (Posted 09/30/20)

(Images of Mobile Education Exhibit from WAA website)

The Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit will be at the Clarion Mall this Sunday (October 4th), from 1:00 to 4:00PM. This exhibit, which will be the finale to the Mini Autumn Leaf Festival (mALF), is free and open to the public.

The exhibit is a prelude to Wreaths Across America Day, which will be held on Saturday, December 19th, where volunteers gather to lay wreaths on the graves of our nation’s military veterans.

The Clarion Area Football Team used this as their off-season charity outreach last year and the new Central Clarion Wildcats are carrying on this year. The Immaculate Conception School also sponsors the local effort.

Clarion County WAA Coordinator Noreen Shirey shared, “… this is a free event open to anyone.  It would be great if kids would be interested in passing out flyers, or setting up tables at the Mall on Saturday (October 3rd) during Touch a truck and the Carnival, or at any of the other local places, during mALF.  We are all in this together to honor our veterans.  The sky is the limit for fundraising, as a group you are able to sponsor any participating cemetery locally and worldwide, if you have enough locally you can roll them over to next year here,  or donate them to another participating cemetery, including Arlington, they didn’t get enough last year.” (#AMERICASTRONG) 

Noreen added, “The Exhibit represents the TEACH pillar of the Wreaths Across America mission, sharing information about the veterans and those who serve our country, and how everyone can play a part in remembering and honoring them.

“Inside the 48-foot trailer, visitors will have an opportunity to explore, honor our fallen veterans and learn more about Wreaths Across America.

“Wreaths Across America takes great pride in its mission to Remember, Honor and Teach. The mobile Education Exhibit will help to Teach, not only the next generations, but all local community members about the services and sacrifices of our nation’s military.

Please join us to take a free tour of the Mobile Education Exhibit and learn more about the Wreaths Across America mission!)”

The Wreaths Across America website gives this description about the exhibit, “The 48’ exhibit is equipped with a 24-person screening room that showcases the different aspects of the WAA mission through video. To the front of the exhibit there are three interactive computers to showcase locations, trucking supporters, and general wreath sponsorship questions. Also, in the front is an education wall of information on the different areas of WAA and where the mission will be going in years to come.

“The Mobile Education Exhibit is available (if its schedule permits) throughout the year to travel to school, fundraising, pop-up and community events. You must submit your request through the link on this page or on the Wreaths Across America Official Facebook page to be considered for scheduling.”

Noreen mentioned about how this this will help in coordinating the local effort with the Covid 19 situation. “I am hopeful that the exhibit will raise awareness for this mission. This is still a wonderful opportunity, that allows the majority of selling, ordering and shipment to be hands off for the interest of health precautions it is still a win. Honor hometown veterans and help our own kids work towards their goals, all in the effort to Remember Honor and Teach the next generation about our militaries sacrifice. 

Wreaths being placed in 2019

As for possible changes in the ceremony and wreath laying, Noreen said, “The ceremony is happening, wreaths are coming.  I may have to do a live feed for the ceremony, with limited speakers, but I am still going to do one.  The Wreaths will still be placed.

“I am hopeful that the players will again be able to help place wreaths. The Civil Air Patrol is not going to Arlington this year.”

Last year volunteers placed over 1,000 wreaths at the Clarion and Immaculate Conception Cemeteries alone.

Scene from 2019 ceremony

Some of the cemeteries this year in Clarion County where Wreaths will be placed include,  Immaculate Conception, Clarion, Rimersburg, Knox Union Cemetery, Knox’s Salem Lutheran Cemetery, and Knox’s St. Paul’s Union Cemetery. The Knox Cemeteries coordinator is Rose McGinnis. St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Lucinda has also had volunteers place wreaths for a number of years.

Clarion Bobcats and coaches at 2019 ceremony
I-C students and faculty gathered for wreaths being delivered last year