Sentinel Progress

Dear editor.

A year ago, not long after being elected commander of the local American Legion Post 52, Jimmy “Bones” Wilson came up with the idea placing wreaths on the veterans graves locally as they do at Arlington National Cemetery.

He got all the rules set up by “Wreaths Across America” and decided that we can do that.

It specified that the wreaths have to be laced in the veterans section of the local cemetery and the cemetery had to be verified by them. He went ahead, with the cooperation of Robinson Memorial Gardens, got the cemetery qualified for the program.

All we had to do after that was come up with the money to purchase 230 wreaths at $15 a pop.

I personally did not think that we could make it happen. We made posters, handbills, knocked on doors and after about six months of work we ordered and paid for enough wreaths to cover all the veterans graves.

With the help of the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Trail Guides, church members and a few local vets and their families, we put out a wreath for every grave during a cold dreary day while raining and sleeting.

This year we again realized that we a greater task than last year, now needing to cover 280 graves.

Undaunted, we started about six months ago putting out posters , handbills and knocking on doors. Two months ago it looked like we were about 30 percent short of what we needed, but right at the time it looked the worst you people came to the rescue.

With the advertising of Chris Robinson on the radio, ads in the Sentinel Progress and a last minute push we achieved our goal and the ceremony we had on Dec. 16 brought out about 200 people to show a fitting tribute to those veterans we intended to honor.

Sen. Rex Rice gave a beautiful address and with the help of all on a crisp beautiful day, we laid out and addressed all of the vets.

If you have never seen this, it may be worth your while next year. So thanks to all who participated or in any way. It helped.

Sam Gillespie

American Legion Post 52

Easley, S.C.