WAA Mobile Education Exhibit at mall on Monday | News, Sports, Jobs

— Contributed

STEUBENVILLE — Area residents are encouraged to visit the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit when it makes a local stop Monday and will be stationed in a parking lot area of the Fort Steuben Mall from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Steubenville visit is one of 13 stops being made in Ohio communities during May to honor veterans and WAA supporters.

The visit, organized by Le’Ann Gibbons, secretary of the Unionport Chapter No. 360, Order of the Eastern Star, offers a free exhibit that is open to the public.

At 4 p.m., there will be a ceremony honoring veterans, especially Vietnam veterans. The main speaker will be state Sen. Frank Hoagland, R-Mingo Junction with comments from Amber Kohler, representing the office of U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Marietta. Jefferson County Commissioner Tom Graham will provide musical selections and remarks. The ceremony will involve the Tri-State Young Marines.

The Unionport OES chapter will be selling nut rolls, pepperoni rolls, 6-inch pies and loaves of blueberry bread and zucchini bread. There also will be a 50-50 drawing, Gibbons explained. Texas Roadhouse will be doing a “Dine to Donate.” All money raised from that and the bake sale will go toward sponsorships of wreaths for this year’s Wreaths Across America ceremony Dec. 17 at noon at area cemeteries.

“The goal of the Wreaths Across America Mobile Education Exhibit is to bring the community together and teach patriotism while remembering the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes,” noted Karen Worcester, executive director of WAA, in a press release. “This exhibit provides the opportunity for people to safely participate in something that is educational and inspiring while supporting and giving back to the communities it visits.”

The exhibit achieves this goal by bringing the local community, veterans, active-duty military and their families together through interactive exhibits, brief and shared stories. The exhibit serves as a mobile museum, educating visitors about the service and sacrifice of our nation’s heroes as well as serving as an official “welcome home” station for Vietnam veterans, according to the release.

“When the exhibit pulls into your area, all veterans, active-duty military, their families and the local community members are invited and encouraged to visit, take a tour and speak with WAA representatives and volunteers,” the news release points out. “They also can share more about the national nonprofit, and the work its volunteers do to support our heroes and their communities year-round.”

Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission — Remember, Honor, Teach — is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.

Anyone can sponsor a veteran’s wreath for $15 at www.wreathacrossamerica.org.

Each sponsorship goes toward a wreath for a veteran’s grave.

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