NewsPositively Hampton Roads


Local high school students help ready wreaths for ceremony at veterans cemetery

Posted at 8:40 AM, Dec 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-12 09:53:32-05

SUFFOLK, Va. - This weekend, a nationwide effort will put wreaths at military grave sites across the country.

Saturday is National Wreaths Across America Day; a day dedicated to making sure no veteran is forgotten.

Thousands are expected to attend a local ceremony at Albert G. Horton Memorial Veterans Cemetery on Milners Road in Suffolk, but first the wreaths have to be prepared and made to look their best for display.

That task falls on the shoulders of the Horton Wreath Society.

“We’ve been doing this for about 13 or 14 years. We ordered 9,575 wreaths in order to make sure we have a wreath placed at every veteran’s grave site at Albert G. Horton Memorial Gardens," said Mike Yarbrough, the society's president.

This year, the volunteers have a little help.

On Wednesday, more than 100 Nansemond River High School students joined the Horton Wreath Society at the Army National Guard Armory on Godwin Blvd.

The wreaths were dropped off in boxes and then the students went to work.

“The first thing when you pull the wreaths out of the pack is you shake them, then remove the tag, make sure the bow is straight, that it looks circular and then you put it on the stack," said senior Corie Williams.

After wreaths are inspected, fluffed and, in some cases, repaired, they're put back on a truck for delivery to the cemetery.

With the students' help, Yarbrough says the job was done in record time.

“I have a lot of people in the military in my family so it hits home about things like this and I love helping my community. I think we all do," Williams told News 3.

It's personal for Yarbrough too.

“I have three loved ones buried at Albert G. Horton, veterans, my family members. Once you see all the wreaths displayed out there. You’re in awe," he said.

Saturday's ceremony at Horton Memorial Veteran Cemetery begins at 9 a.m.