As another round of holidays is upon us, we are reminded of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice, and the families who will never be able to take a full family picture again. Each year, Wreaths Across America honors these lost family members by placing wreaths at over 800 cemeteries and state capital ceremonies across the nation Massachusetts had twenty two cemeteries honored this year, with a ceremony at the State House on Friday, December 13th. Secretary of Veterans’ Services Coleman Nee joined Wreaths Across America for the State House event and hosted two additional events at the Agawam and Winchendon Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries.
“We are honored and humbled to participate with Wreaths Across America,” said Secretary Nee. “The Holiday Season is a special time for everyone, but they can be a difficult time for military families as they remember a departed loved one. Programs like this Wreaths Across America are essential to our communities across the nation as we remember the sacrifices of our service men, women and their families.”
This year, approximately 1,500 wreaths were placed at the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon on December 13th. Winchendon received enough donations this year to honor every person laid to rest there and with the extra wreaths then given to the families of local fallen soldiers. Volunteers braved the cold conditions to place the wreaths, and they included: local veterans, Winchendon VFW, Thomas Prince Middle School, Winchendon, Ashburnham, and Westminster high school students, Rick Voutour (Veterans’ Service Officer, Leominster), members of the Patriot Riders Motorcycle Club, and the Fire and Iron Motorcycle Club.
Approximately 1,800 wreaths placed at the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, which is almost 700 more wreaths than last year. The Western Mass Chapter of the Military Order of the Purple Heart was responsible for raising nearly $13,000 in scholarships and donations for this year’s wreaths. Agawam had almost 200 people come view the wreaths this year. Volunteers in Agawam included Springfield Elks Lodge #61, Agawam High School, East Longmeadow High School, and the cemetery volunteers.
A First-Hand Look at Mosquito Surveillance posted on Jul 28
Each summer, the Department of Public Health works closely with local and regional partners to protect Massachusetts residents against the risk of West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) – two serious diseases which are spread though the bite of an infected mosquito. …Continue Reading A First-Hand Look at Mosquito Surveillance
Veterans: Find your Sisterhood in Massachusetts posted on Jul 23
The Massachusetts Women Veterans’ Network of the Department of Veterans’ Services (WVN) has been connecting women veterans with benefits, services, and each other, since 1997. Since its founding, the Network has been the central resource for women veterans across the Commonwealth, and continues to connect its members …Continue Reading Veterans: Find your Sisterhood in Massachusetts
Department of Developmental Services: Finding Meaning Through Art posted on Jul 18
Mary DeCesar recently stopped by the DDS central office to donate one of her drawings for our reception area. Mary works at Gateway Arts, a DDS contracted program. While Mary has become an accomplished artist, her life story is just as compelling. Born with an …Continue Reading Department of Developmental Services: Finding Meaning Through Art