This Saturday, Dec. 17, one spot in Wilton will play a role in a nationwide effort memorializing those who gave their lives to ensure our country won and kept the freedoms and rights on which it was founded. Wilton’s Sharp Hill Cemetery will join the more than 1,000 locations across the country participating that day in the “Say Their Names” event.
The ceremony, organized by the national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA), begins at 1 p.m. at the cemetery at the corner of Rte. 7 and Sharp Hill Rd.. The local organization, Children of the America Revolution of Wilton, CT, will lead the local effort to support the mission to Remember, Honor, Teach. This is the first year that Sharp Hill Cemetery will be participating in this annual national event as an official location for 2016.
Sharp Hill Cemetery, owned and maintained by Wilton Congregational Church, is the final resting place for over 18 Revolutionary War and 9 French and Indian War soldiers. The local group, Captain Stephen Betts Society of the Children of the American Revolution (C.A.R.), will be hosting the official ceremony and placing remembrance wreaths on the headstones. The members will say the names of the local heroes laid to rest there, to ensure that the individuals who served to protect the freedoms of our nascent country are not, and never will be, forgotten.
WAA executive director Karen Worcester explained the meaning behind the event. “A person dies twice: the first time, when they stop breathing, and a second time, when someone says their name for the last time.” It is with this in mind that this year’s theme for National Wreaths Across America Day is “Say Their Names.” All members of the community are invited and encouraged to attend this event.
Wreaths Across America mission to “Remember, Honor, Teach,” is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies each December at Arlington National Cemetery, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond.
C.A.R. is the nation’s oldest, largest, patriotic youth organization and offers membership to anyone under the age of 22, lineally descended from someone who rendered material aid to the cause of American Independence as a soldier, sailor, civil officer, or recognized patriot in one of the several Colonies or States, or of the United States. C.A.R. activities focus on patriotism, service, and education about our American heritage.