ST. GEORGE — To honor those who have served in the armed forces and educate others on the meaning of the sacrifices made by members of the American military, the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony will be staged on Saturday, Dec. 16.

The 2023 St. George Wreaths Across America ceremony will be Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. at Tonaquint Cemetery | Photo courtesy of city of St. George, St. George News

Hosted by the Color Country Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, the ceremony will be staged at 10 a.m. at the city of St. George’s Tonaquint Cemetery, 1777 S. Dixie Drive.

Gold Star Mother Bronwyn Mount, whose son Bryan “Cooper” Mount was killed while serving in the U.S. Army in 2020, will be the keynote speaker.

“Anyone who remembers seeing the packed streets of downtown St. George, filled with people waiting to pay their respects to Cooper Mount, knows this is a community that reveres its military veterans,” said Mayor Michele Randall in a news release. “This year’s Wreaths Across America event is a great opportunity to show appreciation for the sacrifices they have made.”

For the past 12 years, a Wreaths Across America ceremony has been held at Tonaquint Cemetery on the third Saturday of December, followed by wreath laying assisted by scores of volunteers. These wreaths cover the graves of hundreds of military members whose final resting place lies in our cemeteries.

The goal of Wreaths Across America is threefold:

Remember the fallen.
Honor those who have served.
Teach children the value of freedom.

After the wreath laying at Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George Police will escort volunteers to St. George Cemetery at 650 East Tabernacle to lay the balance of remembrance wreaths.

In 2022, a record-setting 2.7 million remembrance wreaths were laid at 3,702 participating locations nationwide.

“Locally, over 2,100 wreaths were laid on the graves of our veterans buried at both Tonaquint and St. George cemeteries with hundreds of volunteers helping,” Valerie King, event organizer for the Color Country Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution, said in the news release. “This is a community event in every sense, and we hope to see a lot of people join us once again at Tonaquint Cemetery on Dec. 16.”

Veterans representing each branch of military service covering a wide array of service years – from the Cold War to the conflicts of the 21st century — will participate in the ceremonial wreath dedication.