SNAP volunteers lay wreaths in Hingham cemetery in remembrance of veterans

L-R Tom Hoffman, Santa Clause and SCPO Keith Jermyn (Photo by Joshua Ross)
L-R Tom Hoffman, Santa Clause and SCPO Keith Jermyn (Photo by Joshua Ross)
December 19, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer (all photos by Joshua Ross Photography)

The South Shore Special Needs Athletic Partnership (SNAP) sponsored the Hingham edition of National Wreaths Across America Day on Saturday, when 520 Christmas wreaths were placed at veterans' graves in High Street Cemetery.

The wreaths, made in Maine, arrived in Hingham on Dec. 9 and were stored in the Lynch Field House. Shaw’s Supermarkets volunteered a driver and a tractor trailer to deliver the wreaths to that location.

"We used a 17-foot U-Haul truck to bring the wreaths to the cemetery on Saturday," SNAP treasurer and founding board member Tom Hoffman told the Hingham Anchor.

He also shared that $5,000 was raised through sponsorships to pay for the wreaths at a cost of $15 for one or three for $30. According to the Wreaths Across America website, wreaths symbolize everlasting life.

The 75 SNAP volunteers -- working in three 45-minute shifts of 25 each starting at 9:30 a.m. -- were among many others nationwide who placed wreaths at more than 2,000 cemeteries on Saturday in accordance with state guidelines.

Celebrated on the third Saturday every December, National Wreaths Across America Day honors veterans who served the nation "to their last breath."

Hoffman and his wife, Debbie, first learned of the nationwide wreath program two years ago when they volunteered through the Boston College Alumni Association at Bourne National Cemetery.

"I approached Hingham Director of Veterans' Services Keith Jermyn with the idea of placing wreaths in Hingham, and he was all for it," Hoffman said.  "The SNAP board agreed to make it a community service event, so we had SNAP families and their kids serving as volunteers."

Hoffman was pleased that 75 SNAP families signed up in less than 20 hours to help lay the wreaths. "We are hopeful that we can expand the program next year," he said.

In addition to the December wreath-laying project, Wreaths Across America works throughout the year in a number of ways to show veterans and their families that they are not forgotten. Senator Patrick O'Connor attended this morning's event and thanked all of the volunteers for their efforts.

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