American Heritage Girls in Gloucester needs community helpto get wreaths on veterans’ graves

by San Eli News

GLOUCESTER, Va. (WAVY) — For the past five years, Christmas wreaths have been placed on the gravestones at Yorktown National Cemetery to remember and honor fallen veterans.

It’s something American Heritage Girls troops in Gloucester have made into a yearly tradition.

This time of year, they’re normally out in the community trying to get the wreaths sponsored.However, the pandemic has had a big hit on this initiative and the girls need help now more than ever.

Lee Fridinger, fundraising coordinator for AHG Troop VA-1318 in Gloucester Point, says Yorktown National Cemetery has 1,386 plots available for wreaths. So far, only 200 wreaths have been sponsored in an effort to fill the cemetery.

“We’re still about 1,100 shy of filling the cemetery, and our goal every year is to fill the cemetery so every plot can be remembered and honored,” explained Fridinger.

She says they’ve never been this far behind before.

Fridinger says the troops haven’t been able to go door-to-door or spread the word outside businesses as they have in the past because of the pandemic.

She says the wreath-laying means a lot to the families every year. The girls are worried they may not be able to pull it off.

Fridinger’s daughter Brynn is in the troop. She says her father was in the service so she’d want someone to do it for him.“I want everybody who died who are in the cemetery to have wreaths and are remembered and need to be remembered,” said Brynn.

Dec. 19 is when they are scheduled to have the yearly ceremony for laying the wreaths. Sponsoring a wreath costs $15 dollars, $5 of that goes toward the troop’s other service activities.