MONSON — The Monson Cemetery Commission and Patriotic Celebrations Committee are requesting volunteers to assist in the removal of wreaths placed on Dec. 16 for Wreaths Across America Day, Cemetery Foreman and Patriotic Celebrations Committee member Mat Wawrzyk said.

The event will occur at 10 a.m. on March 9 and last until all wreaths associated with the organization have been removed. The snow date is March 16. These dates were chosen in order to allow the wreaths to remain at the graves for “as long as possible” without potential degradation from the weather, Wawrzyk explained.

During the removal, volunteers will move through the cemeteries and pick up the wreaths. Once they are collected, the town will recycle the wreaths’ metal ties and burn the greens, Wawrzyk said. He explained that this procedure is similar to other removal procedures from nearby towns.

On Dec. 16, more than 100 volunteers came to help place 1,075 wreaths on veteran graves at Hillcrest Cemetery, Hillside Cemetery and Bethany Cemetery, Wawrzyk said. While 2023 was Monson’s first year participating in this event, nonprofit Wreaths Across America has organized the placement of wreaths at veterans’ graves since 1992. Wreaths are placed in more than 4,000 cemeteries across the country, according to its website.

Although the order for addressing each cemetery in Monson has not been chosen yet, the removal will likely occur in the same order the wreaths were placed, Wawrzyk stated. This order was Hillcrest Cemetery, Hillside Cemetery then Bethany Cemetery.

Residents looking to volunteer can reach out by phone to Wawrzyk at 413-267-4113 or through Facebook on the Monson Patriotic Celebrations Committee page.

Personal wreaths placed by families outside of Wreaths Across America Day will not be removed during the March 9 removal, Wawrzyk stated. He clarified that residents have until April 1 to remove any personal winter decorations. This is consistent across all town-owned cemeteries, as well as Bethany Cemetery.

Additionally, if residents wish to keep their Wreath Across America decoration after March 9, they can contact Wawrzyk.

For more information about Monson’s Wreaths Across America participation and updates on the March 9 removal, visit the Wreaths Across America Monson MA Facebook page at facebook.com/people/Wreaths-Across-America-Monson-MA/61554211787036/.

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