Donations needed to honor veterans

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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

Virginia McKenney is on a mission.

But it’s not one for personal gain, but rather to see that the servicemen and women buried at the Kentucky Veteran’s Cemetery North in Williamstown are honored with a wreath.

McKenney, a long-time volunteer for a variety of causes including Wreaths Across America, is hoping businesses and individuals will step up and donate the $2,200 still needed.

“I’m begging anyone who will listen,” McKenney said. “I do believe it’s an attainable goal.”

Wreaths will be placed on the graves at 11 a.m. on Dec. 10.

The goal of placing a wreath on every soldiers grave is personal for McKenney as her husband is buried in Williamstown.

“When I visit his grave and see other graves that look like no one has visited them, that bothers me.” McKenney said.

“I know some of those buried there have no survivors or family that lives in the area, but those men made us free to do what we’re doing,” she said.

Wreaths Across America is observed in every state and several countries including Afghanistan and Iraq. The wreaths cost about ? and are purchased from ?.

“If everyone gave up one soft drink a day then we’d have the money no problem,” McKenney said.

She said if you break the amount the group still needs for the project it would look like this: 440 - $5 donations or 220 - $10 donations or 147 - $15 donations or 88 - $25 donations or 44 - $55 donations or 22 - $100 donations.

“No amount is too small,” she said.

The Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North was opened four years ago and has ? veterans Wreaths Across America, a non-profit organization that began more than 15 years ago when Worcester Wreath Company started placing wreaths on the headstones of fallen heroes at Arlington National Cemetery.

The tradition continues today as the Civil Air Patrol, the Patriot Guard Riders and other civic organizations place wreaths during a special observance at each of the more than 230 state and national cemeteries and Veterans monuments nationwide. Ceremonies also took place at Kentucky’s two other veterans’ cemeteries in Hopkinsville and Radcliff.

McKenney is also hopeful that others from Grant County will step forward and join her in the effort to be part of this annual remembrance.

“I got a late start at fundraising this year,” she said. “But I’ll welcome the help from anyone that would like to volunteer.”

McKenney would like to form a local committee to handle the project. She said she also has plans to kick off fundraising in January with a quilt raffle.

“We have the freedoms we do because of men and women like these who fought for us so the least we can do is stop and honor them,” she said.

A fund has been set up at Grant County Deposit Bank for donations. Donations for the project can also be sent to: Kentucky Veterans Cemetery North, Attn: Virginia McKenney, P.O. Box 467, Williamstown, Ky. 41097