CEDAR CITY — Cedar City’s fourth annual “Wreaths Across America” event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. at Cedar City Cemetery, where all are invited to attend and pay tribute to military veterans.

File photo shows wreaths laid out on a trailer during “Wreaths Across America” event, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 17, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Cedar City’s tribute will be one of nearly 4,000 such observances taking place at participating cemeteries across the United States, including approximately 15 locations in Southern Utah.

Cedar City’s event is expected to see approximately 1,300 hand-tied, live balsam wreaths be placed at gravesites by volunteers, in memory of the heroes’ sacrifice, dedication and patriotism.

According to a Cedar City news release, more than 200 volunteers from the community representing students from local high schools and Southern Utah University, as well as members of several clubs, organizations, veteran’s associations, and city departments are assisting in this year’s event. Hundreds of hours have been invested over the past year to ensure every veteran is honored with a wreath.

This brief program promises to be touching and patriotic, consisting of a color guard presentation, a special ceremonial wreath presentation honoring each branch of our military, remarks from Cedar City Mayor Garth Green, music, tributes, bagpipes, taps and more.

Wreaths Across America is expecting a large turnout for this ceremony and the Cedar City Police Department and the VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) will be assisting with parking. All traffic for the event will be directed to enter the cemetery from Iron Mission Parkway and exit onto Main Street. All vehicles will be entering one way only.

Once you enter the cemetery grounds, volunteers will direct you in order to maximize parking. Please follow all instructions and proceed slowly. The ceremony will begin promptly at 2 p.m. and those attending are asked to arrive early. Golf carts will be available to assist the elderly and those needing assistance getting to the ceremony site.

Volunteers lay wreaths on graves during “Wreaths Across America” event, Toquerville, Utah, Dec. 17, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News

We thank the hundreds of donors who have already stepped forward sharing their generosity and spirit of community to make this event possible. Without them, we would not be able to make this opportunity available. Thank you to Red Acre Farm for donating the ceremonial wreaths that will be presented to each branch of the military.

Donations are still being accepted. Each wreath costs $17, but gifts in any amount are appreciated. If you would like to donate, please make checks payable to “Bald Eagle Chapter DAR” and mail them to Wreaths Across America, 126 S. 2050 West, Cedar City, UT 84720, or you may leave contributions at City Hall (10 N. Main Street, Cedar City) in City Councilman R. Scott Phillips’s box.

We remind everyone to dress warmly and be prepared for December temperatures. The goal of Wreaths Across America is to provide proper respect and remembrance to these remarkable citizens who served in the military so our freedoms would be protected.

Cedar City is one of more than one dozen locations throughout Southern Utah that are scheduled to participate in this year’s Wreaths Across America. According to the organization’s website, four other cemeteries in Iron County will be holding similar events on Dec. 16, with Summit and Paragonah holding theirs at 10 a.m. and Enoch’s and New Harmony’s starting at noon.

In Washington County, Tonaquint Cemetery in St. George is scheduled to have its ceremony starting at 10 a.m., as are the municipal cemeteries in the smaller communities of Ivins, Gunlock, Veyo, Toquerville, Leeds and Virgin. Washington City’s is scheduled to start at noon, and the ceremony at Shivwits Band of Paiutes Cemetery is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Written by Cedar City Corporation, with additional reporting by Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards.

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